Monday, November 10, 2014

Y cómo asi que quieres mostrar la ciencia con imágenes?

Pues asi. Que sigue la ilusión de Areos Aquas y de crear productos audiovisuales chéveres, divertidos, que muestren el lado amable de la ciencia, que expliquen qué es lo que hacemos, cómo lo hacemos, para qué lo hacemos. 

Ahí va el primer intento al estilo documental. Parece que si aprendí algo con el Film and Television Institute de Fremantle. Los primeros pininos que espero se conviertan cada día en más. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Y como es que es el pez ese que tu estudias?

Foto de Steve Lindfield

Es la pregunta que me hacen mis amigos y familia desde Barranquilla, Colombia.
Y yo como les explico que estudio un pez que no conocen?
Un pez endemico. O sea, que solo existe en una parte limitada del mundo.
En este caso, a lo largo de 1700km de la costa oeste de Australia, desde los arrecifes coralinos de Ningaloo hasta los arrecifes rocosos dominados por kelp del Cabo Naturaliste.
Asi que no, por alla en Colombia nunca lo han oido mencionar, nunca se lo han comido.
Lo mas cercano es el pez loro, que casi no se come, o mas bien nadie se da cuenta que se lo come porque en filete es casi imposible darse cuenta.
Pero bueno, hoy pense que poner una foto es un primer paso para explicar que yo estudio un pez que se llama BALDCHIN GROPER. Traduccion literal: El mero menton calvo.
Pero ni mero ni calvo, porque tiene escamas y no es mero.
Pertenece a la familia Labridae, que incluye a las viejas y senoritas.
Es grande, de carne blanca, firme y con un sabor impresionante.
Todavia existe en buenos numeros a lo largo de la costa oeste de Australia y es un pez hermoso e inteligente que se alimenta de erizos y conchas.
Lo mas vacano? Como se alimenta. Utiliza sus aletas pectorales para hacer huecos en la arena y encontrar sus prezas, que luego agarra con unos dientes como colmillos, se lleva hacia la parte de atras de la garganta y tritura con unos dientes faringeos super fuertes. Al final, se queda con la carne que quiere y filtra los pedazos de conchas que le quedan, expulsandolas por las agallas.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

White peaks and barrels

You are a deep, serene, turquoise blue.
I hear you.
In three hours onshore it will be.
And the peaks of white foam will form lines across your blue.
I see you.
Your come and your go.
Your temperamental, tempestuous soul.
And your serenity. Deep. I see you.
Stable in your instability, and I see me.
Cycles, spirals, white peaks and barrels.

Monday, September 16, 2013

And who says people don't help?

C. schoenleinii
I have been positively impressed by the amount of help I have gotten from the fishing community with my PhD project. Whether hinting at a potential site, a recruitment event, an observation, or donating frames from personal catch, the WA public has been epic in their assistance. This post is to say "Thank you Robert Coates!!". A member of the WA Undersea Club (, Robert donated some hard to get frames from Barrow Island, kept them in his freezer while I was away on the field and spent part of his Friday afternoon chatting to me about tuskies. Sharing the tuskie love WA! Hope it continues to spread. To those reading this post, if you have a tuskie frame (any, but baldies preferred), give me a buzz. 


Friday, July 19, 2013

The SciShow

So I just came across this on YouTube as I lay in bed with the winter flu seeking leisurely entertainment. OMG. I think Hank has become my new hero. Excitement brought to science in a dorky yet cool way. Loving it! Subscribing to the SciShow and getting inspired to edit my own videos and actually plan scripts.

It was about time

It was about time I made a new post in my now outdated blog. Who would have thought? When you are doing a PhD in marine science you are actually quite busy.

So my last trip took me into remote NW Australia, where myself and volunteers Sam and Troy embarked on a 20 day adventure to look at the northern limit of baldchin groper's distribution. The baldchin groper (Choerodon rubescens) is an endemic wrasse to the southern half of Western Australia, and a big focus of my PhD studies. It is one of the big wrasses in the world, next to species like the California Sheephead and the Maori wrasse. They are tasty, cool to watch, popular with divers, and really interesting because of their limited distribution and the implications this has for their conservation. Especially when climate is changing, waters warming, and fish species migrating down the coast.

Here I share one of my favorite experiences on the trip, a session of fish dissecting with the resident kids at Red Bluff, Quobba Station. After getting used to a bit of fish smell, the gang was right into it, helping measure, get fin clips for genetic studies and ear bones for growth estimation.

Measuring total length to be able to match with age of a fish

Getting Coral's help to cut a fin clip for genetic studies

Extracting otoliths, the earbones of a fish that hold the secret to their age

Having a chat about what fish science is all about

Monday, May 27, 2013

Atardecer en el parque

De ataduras.
De conceptos. De concepciones.
De lo que debiera ser.
Sintiendo la brisa.
Abriendo el corazon.
Grande y fuerte.
Dandotelo mundo!
De mirada hacia el puerto.
Las jirafas me miran.
Una, dos, tres, cuatro, seis.
Todas ellas me miran. 
Recibo el viento, la brisa fria.
Te veo venir, tormenta, invierno, nube, lluvia, negro.
Y me rodeo de verde, morado y rosa.
Y sonrio.
Y estoy en paz. 
Y estoy tranquila.
Y respiro. Y creo. Y sigo. Y sonrio.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is waldie moving south? The Rotto trip

Baldchin groper seems to be recruiting more strongly to southern reefs along its distribution. And I seem to keep getting lucky and receiving more tips from fishwatchers out there on where I can find them. Thanks to labmates Todd and Sam, I found some pretty cool hotspots along the NE side of Rottnest Island this week. Cool field experience in Rotto, bike, transect tape, wettie and go! Old school science in the making to find new discoveries. Here, an excerpt of day 1.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Atta y Acromyrmex

Leafcutter ants. Endemic to South and Central America. With my current fascination with endemism sounds about right that they were the ones to first catch my attention on my most recent jungle walk. Living in Western Australia for the past year I had forgotten about the lush rainforest that holds so many species in just one spot. How diferent our world is depending on where we are. Biogeography is indeed fascinating.

Sierra, Mi Sierrita

bienvenida al estilo garza

Mi Sierra, mi sierrita.
Y la de todos.
La que cuidan los Koguis y los Arhuacos.
La que es el centro del mundo
El corazón de ese ser viviente que es la tierra
Espacio sagrado. Te siento
Cada vez que de nuevo camino entre tus trochas
y me conecto.
Cuando me bao en tus aguas,
cuando escucho los monos aullar, los pájaros cantar y las olas rugir.
Cuando veo las lineas de hormigas cargando pedacitos verdes y hasta morados,
cuando me desinhibo y siento la fuerza de la tierra en mi pisar, en mi respirar, en mi corazón.
Vi tus aguas bajo las rocas, tus peces, tus aves, tu gente.
Te sentí.
Te viví.
Y Sierra mi sierrita, me dejaste como nueva como siempre!

el gallo

Arrecifes, Parque Nacional Tayrona, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, COLOMBIA

Friday, February 8, 2013

Taylor´s Chin

A call, that resuted in an email, that resulted in another call, that ended in me driving an hour down the coast to meet the Taylors. In search of baby baldies recruiting in the South. Mr. Taylor, an experienced fishermen who knows the WA coast and fishing like the palm of his hand, found it ackward that at his regular fishing spot with his grandkids, four baldie juveniles were caught on their line in little over a quarter of an hour. So he reported it. And I went to research it, and found myself a most pleasant surprise: three young volunteers keen to catch me samples and a lovely granny couple who welcomed me as one of their own, sharing my first WA family fishing expedition. Now, my GPS has a new site: Taylor´s Chin!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Instantaneous diversity assessment?

We have an upcoming event this Friday with Scitech, a spot in the city of Perth that aims to make science cool for kids to enjoy, discover and learn. Scitech brings kids out of their center and into the real wild world, to engage with people doing the real science out there. And as we marine ecologists at the UWA Fish Ecology Lab love to show what we do, especially when we get a chance to inspire a new generation, we decided to take the challenge on and bring the kids into our office. A full report will come after the event but I wanted to share this image from my preparation last weekend. A twenty minute bike ride and half an hour exploration got me the bounty in the above image at O'Connor beach in Freo. Got me thinking about instantaneous sampling of gastropods and bivalves at remote and beautiful beaches. Cheap, exploratory, calming and rewarding research: I think I might have gotten onto a secret!

For now, I collect for the kiddies to enjoy and discover the different shapes, colors, angles and textures that even as a thirty one year old woman, blow my mind away. In the future, perhaps I can get away with beach sampling the entire tropical world.