Undergraduate senior, Ja’Kaila Jefferson, prepped the lab and equipment to begin our algal cultures of Isochrysis and Chaetocerous to support the culture of three copepod species: Tisbe, Psuedodiaptomous, and Acartia. All the live cultures were purchased from Algagen.
Ja’Kaila has designed an experiment to investigate if the gulf pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli, change their feeding preference from benthic to pelagic copepods in different seagrass densities. Dr. Krejci observed this shift in wild pipefish populations during the 2011 superalgal bloom in the Indian River Lagoon, and this study will help determine if the switch is based on availability, preference or behavior. Stay tuned for more updates!