Amazingly, I have been in Japan for just over 6 weeks at this point! There are only 3.5 weeks remaining, which means that my experiments are well underway and the end is just around the corner. Since I haven't yet shared my experimental set up, I thought I'd do a quick post here to show what my science here looks like. Photos from an experiment like this are just a little bit more exciting than those from my usual genetics lab and computer work!
I have two main experiments running, one on temperature and one on salinity. These are testing what range of conditions the fluffy sea anemone can survive in over an extended period of time. To test this, I have four different temperatures increasing at intervals from the outside ocean temperature, and five different salinities both increasing and decreasing from the outside ocean salinity. Each temperature and salinity level has multiple replicates within it, with anemones kept in cups to follow more closely each individual. These are kept in as stable of conditions as possible during the experiment and are fed, but nonetheless I measure and record any changes in temperature or salinity at least every other day, as well as check for any deceased individuals.
Metridium senile isn't the only anemone that is in the area! I've collected a few others that are common in Hokkaido waters.