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REEF Projects

Projects located at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA:

 

Biomechanic and Physiology of Bluefin Tuna

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Barbara Block, http://www.tunaresearch.org/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

Join our lab team that holds in captivity some large bluefin tuna. Projects will include biomechanics of locomotion, physiology of digestion. Research will entail whole animal biology, engineering, biomechanics and physiology

 

Photo ID of White sharks and Mantas

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Barbara Block, http://www.tunaresearch.org/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

We are using photo ID techniques to identify large pelagic predators. In this project we will be building a catalogue of manta and white shark identification files that will enable the team to conduct a census and population survey

 

Examining unregulated fishing with new technology

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Barbara Block, http://www.tunaresearch.org/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

We are working with two new technologies to identify illegal unregulated fishing on the high seas. International fishers poach fish without much knowledge and these technologies are intended to stop the fishers from these practices This project will entail working with a postdoc who is examining illegal vessels that are overfishing by satellite. The work entails big data sets, and working as a team to analyze data. In addition a new shark tag will be used to send a "I am captured" message. The postdoc will be working with living sharks at the Tuna Center attaching the new tag and testing it. Intern will help on both projects

 

Modelling the impact of small scale fisheries on grey reef sharks

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Giulio De Leo, https://deleolab.stanford.edu/deleo

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 2 positions available

The overarching research goal of this project is to investigate the impact of small scale fisheries vs industrial fisheries on the grey reef shark populations in the Long Islands of the Pacific. The impacts of small-scale fisheries on marine predators can outweigh the impacts of larger, industrial fisheries. However, far less is known about small-scale fisheries than their industries counterparts. Little is known about the drivers and impacts of small-scale shark fisheries, though they have spread throughout much of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and are likely causing significant ecological impacts. In this research, we have conducted field research in the Palmyra atoll and in the Kiritibati archipelagoes that allowed us to gather detailed information on 1) the connectivity of shark populations throughout the region 2) how artisanal shark fisheries impact these shark populations and the reef ecosystem and 3) the motivations, harvest rates, population trends, and species involved in this artisanal shark fishery. Additionally, our analysis of half a million satellite detections of commercial fishing vessels identified virtually no fishing effort within the refuge and significant effort beyond the MPA perimeter, suggesting that large MPAs can effectively bene t reef sharks and other mobile species if properly enforced. We want to use this information to tune up a spatially explicit model of shark populations and use it to analyze the impact of both small scale and industrial fisheries. The intern will work closely along with his/her mentor to develop the simulation model and carry out socio-economic cost-benefit analysis analyses of different management strategies for both small scale and industrial fisheries - a highly cross disciplinary task that will require to carry out investigation at the boundary between mathematical modellings, bioeconomic analysis and bio-logging, GIS and mapping. We are looking for a modelling/computer science proficient, highly motivated student in biology, Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Physics who will help us to develop statistical and/or dynamical models and GIS spatial analysis. We will preferably consider application from students with a solid background in computer science, statistics, GIS or modelling.

 

Models of optimal control and disease dynamics: control and elimination of a human disease, schistosomiasis

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Giulio De Leo, https://deleolab.stanford.edu/deleo

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 2 positions available

We are looking for a modelling/computer science proficient, highly motivated student in biology, Statistics, Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Physics who will help us to analyze the effectiveness of alternative strategies for disease control and elimination by using mathematical models of disease dynamics and computer simulations. We will preferably consider application from students with a solid background in applied mathematic or environmental engineering, or computer science, better if with some experience in working with Optimal Control theory/modeling, ODEs or discrete time models, or stochastic Montecarlo simulations by using Matlab, R or other computer simulation tools. The selected student will contribute to a B&M Gates Foundation and NSF supported project on biocontrol of schistosoamisis through the reintroduction of a native predator species.

 

New ecological solutions for control of human infectious disease through native predators and competitors

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Giulio De Leo, https://deleolab.stanford.edu/deleo

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 2 positions available

We are seeking a student interested in the intersection of ecology and public health to assist us with data management and analysis of a large-scale intervention in Senegal, West Africa to re-introduce a native prawn to combat human infection. Prawns are voracious predators of snails which act as intermediate hosts for a human parasite: schistosomiasis, thus prawns can curb snail numbers and transmission of the parasite to people. Prawns can also be harvested safely and consumed for their high protein value, and they are also a valuable human commodity and a delicacy on the international market, making their reintroduction a win-win for public health and economic development. We are seeking a student to assist with data entry, management, and statistical analysis - data will be transmitted to Stanford from partners performing field expeditions in Senegal during the year prior to the summer internship. The student will also be involved in development of the Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment aimed at discovering novel ecological solutions to combat infectious diseases of public health importance and protecting the environment.

 

Does Repeated Stress Weaken Mollusk Shells?

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Mark Denny, https://dennylab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

Hard-shelled mollusks -- animals like mussels, snails, limpets, and clams -- possess an impressive armor that protects them from predators and the environment. We are working to quantify shell's effectiveness at withstanding the sort of repeated mechanical threats that they face in the environment, and then to identify shell features that make them an effective defense. We are looking for a student to help in studies of mussel shell morphology using a range of tools from in-lab measurements and mechanical tests to field-based animal observations on Monterey's rocky coast. Students interested in biology, engineering, or (ideally) both are welcome to apply.

 

Squid ecology and color changing behavior

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor William Gilly, http://gillylab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 2 positionw available

Squid and other cephalopod molluscs have a unique mechanism for rapidly changing skin color with neuromuscular organs called chromatophores. We are investigating chromatophore structure and function in the California market squid using a variety of methods, including video analysis of chromatophore function, electrophysiology studies of muscle fiber excitability, and immunohistochemistry with confocal microscopy. We are also investigating several aspects of the ecology of this species, including diet, maturation, and sensitivity to changes in water temperature and oxygen concentration. This work will involve catching squid on Monterey Bay in a small vessel, carrying out stomach-content analysis, and performing oxygen-consumption (respirometry) measurements. In addition, video analysis of squid being caught in large trawl nets during NOAA research surveys in relation to oceanographic conditions (temperature and oxygen) will be possible.

 

Ecological assessment of the starfish massive die-off in the Monterey Bay

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Fiorenza Micheli, https://michelilab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

The student will be involved in a project assessing the ecological consequences of sea star wasting disease die-off that is currently affecting California. The students will participate in ecological surveys and field experiments at the Hopkins marine station and in the analysis of digital photographs of benthic community. Diving certification not required.

 

Assessing the impacts of climate change on species interactions within giant kelp forests

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Fiorenza Micheli, https://michelilab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

The intern will work with a graduate student on research examining the impacts of climate change stressors on the interactions between invertebrate grazers and giant kelp. He or she will be involved in various aspects of the project, including kelp culturing, animal husbandry, and species identification. The student will also help conduct grazing experiments at Hopkins outdoor aquaria facility. There is a potential for field work if he or she is an AAUS scientific diver (note that being a scientific diver is not required for this project).

 

Hypoxia effects on kelp forest ecosystems

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Fiorenza Micheli, https://michelilab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

Instances of coastal hypoxia are increasing globally, with impacts on species, ecological communities, and ecosystems. The aim of this project is to study the effects of hypoxia and water temperature on a key driver of kelp forest ecosystems: the grazing interactions between sea urchins and kelp. The intern will help with laboratory experiments that examine sea urchin physiology, behavior, and ecology under various temperature and dissolved oxygen conditions.

 

HThe effects of ocean acidification on interactions between surfgrass and associated grazers and microbes

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Fiorenza Micheli, https://michelilab.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 1 position available

Ocean acidification (OA) is expected to profoundly alter the diversity and function of marine ecosystems, as well as the services they provide to society. Thus, understanding how future oceans will function in the face of OA represents one of the main challenges and needs for marine science and management. The research will address the possible impacts of OA on organisms, their behavior and their ecological roles. The student will conduct laboratory and field experiments investigating the impacts of OA in seagrass ecosystems in Monterey Bay, water chemistry analyses, and will be involved in data analyses and presentation of results.

 

Finding heat resistant corals: empirical testing on Palau patch reefs coupled with genetic and physiological lab tests

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA

Professor Stephen Palumbi, http://palumbi.stanford.edu/

Time commitment:   10 weeks / 2 positions available

The dual pulses of coral bleaching in 2015 and 2017 yet again focused attention on the role that ocean warming is already having on the survival of coral reef ecosystems. Yet, even on the same reefs, not all corals bleach. Our project tries to understand the variation in heat resistance of different corals colonies of the same species, by testing colonies that naturally occur in different thermal microhabitats. In this projects, students will learn to construct coral stress tanks to impose standard heat stress on colonies, and use them to monitor colony heat resistance across different patch reefs in Palau. Additional lab work at the Hopkins Marine Station will involve genetic testing of corals for symbiont type and genotype at key loci thought to be related to heat resistance.