By: Sigrid Heise-Pavlov, PhD

Posted: April 15, 2013
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Faculty Post

Diving and Data Collection

Turks and Caicos Islands

As of April 4, I have officially been on South for two months! I can’t believe how fast this semester is going and we only have a little over a month left. This place has been an amazing home to me the past two months and I have learned so much here about the environment, people, and simpler way of life.

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Over the past two weeks we have been working on our Directed Research projects. I am working on a lionfish project and will be looking at the density, habitat interactions, and feeding behaviors of the invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans. Right now, we are in the data collection phase. Three days a week, my group and I go to a dive site and dive twice a day looking for and measuring lionfish. We are looking at the density changes between day hours and dawn or dusk periods, so we will either go early in the morning and in the afternoon, or at mid-morning then again at dusk. I love being on this project as I think the lionfish problem is both interesting and important, and I have an awesome research team!

In my decreasing amount of downtime since research has started, I still find time to go swimming and snorkeling at the docks. There is always a lot to see down there and recently we have seen glow worms at night, which are so cool! It looks like there are swimming fireflies in the water. I love to sit on the conch wall, overlooking the water, looking at the stars and glow worms at night. With only one more month of all this and countless trips to town for ice cream, I’m sure the next month will the best one yet!


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