Marine finfish broodstock and larvae husbandry for scientific and commercial research. The captive held animals were cobia, Nassau grouper, mahi-mahi, red snapper, hogfish, triple tail and Japanese olive flounder. Duties were life support system maintenance and operation, water parameters and chemistry, feed preparation and feeding, tank cleaning, anesthesia, prophylaxis, medications, transportation, physiological evaluation and cannulating. Additional tasks were egg quality and quantity assessment, live feed operations, plumbing, chemical handling, fiber glassing, packing and shipping of eggs and juvenile, and biosecurity. A project is being undertaken to study the in vitro digestibility of insect meal.
Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami
Imagery data analysis of pancreatic tissue for diabetes research. Mice and human pancreatic tissue was used to better understand the role of pericytes, neurological implications, delta cell communication, and macrophage activity. Images from a confocal microscope were taken, manipulated and analyzed, and data was organized, standardized, tabulated and statistically tested.
Seaweed production and processing for commercial purposes. The seaweeds that were being produced were strains of red and brown macroalgae. Duties included supervising the production, harvesting, transportation, cleaning, washing, packing, storing, labelling, fertilizing and drying of seaweeds. A weekly production of 1 ton of seaweeds was reached with a bi-weekly delivery schedule. Daily tasks were given to farm workers to complete each days tasks in an effective and timely manner. Harvesting, fertilizing, cleaning and packing schedules were maintained. Additionally a small tilapia hatchery and broodstock was assembled and maintained, and a standard operating procedure document was compiled for the seaweed production.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Husbandry of amphibians and nutrition experiment for conservation research. The animal that was mainly worked on was the tropical Pirre harlequin toad, while other species of harlequin frogs were taken care of. Duties were the planning and construction of experimental units, parameters, water exchange, siphoning, diet preparation and feeding, tadpole and frog husbandry, and biometrics acquisition and interpretation. The research looked at the effects of diet quantity, quality and water composition on the development of spindly leg disorder. Additionally, insect culture of fruit flies and crickets was carried out to produce live feed for the frogs. Furthermore, worm and black soldier fly composters were built to provide the frogs with alternative feed in case of cricket colony collapse. On a regular basis field trips were organized to locate and collect specific species of frogs to be provided to the local museum for exhibit and educational purposes.
Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology & Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Coral Cryo-conservation Research
Ex situ coral spawning and cryoconservation of gametes for research and conservation purposes. Corals that had been worked on were mushroom, lobe, rice and cauliflower. Duties included motorboat operator, collection, transportation, tank parameters and cleaning, husbandry of grazer fish, isolation and protocols for gamete collection, and determination of motility and quality. Following was the freezing of gametes with liquid nitrogen, thawing and fertilization, and biometrics to assess fertilization rate post freezing. Additionally rearing of corals was carried out to colonize nubbins and collection of starry goby for tissue conservation.
Husbandry of marine fish and nutrition trial of freshwater fish for research. Marine fish consisted of almaco jack and corvina, freshwater fish consisted of Nile tilapia. Marine husbandry duties included parameters, dry feed preparation, feeding, siphoning, tank cleaning, harvesting, transportation and grading. Additionally live feed tasks such as rotifer, Artemia, and phytoplankton cultures, harvesting, fertilizing or enriching and cleaning were carried out. Furthermore husbandry of seahorses, clownfish and cuttlefish was carried out. Freshwater husbandry duties were feeding with controlled feed and quantification of consumed feed, water exchange and filter cleaning. Subsequently samples from each treatment were taken and analyzed for lipid and protein content using the Folch and Kjeldahl methods. The marine system was flow-through of 8 tanks of 10 tons each, while the freshwater relied on daily water exchange and filter cleaning of 6 tanks of 300 liters each.
New England Aquarium
Husbandry and data collection of northern star coral intended for conservation research. Duties included daily parameters, feeding, cleaning of tanks and life support systems, handling, scarring, biometrics and collection from the wild. The research was looking into how different water temperatures affect the recovery rate of scarred tissue over time.
Burmester EM, Finnerty JR, Kaufman L, Rotjan RD (2017) Temperature and symbiosis affect lesion recovery in experimentally wounded, facultatively symbiotic temperate corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 570:87-99. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12114
New England Aquarium
Giant Ocean Tank & Cold Marine
Husbandry of tropical and cold marine fish for exhibit purposes. Tropical exhibit consisted of feed preparation and the use of SCUBA to carry out targeted feedings, siphoning, cleaning of windows and structures, removal of mortalities, and isolation, removal, transportation, and re-introduction. Cold marine exhibit consisted of daily parameters, feed preparation, targeted feeding, siphoning and cleaning of life support systems. Additionally biometrics were taken of Endangered Red-Bellied Plymouth turtles for conservation and re-introduction programs.
Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Husbandry of California sea hare for neurological research. Duties included daily parameters, feeding, cleaning of tanks and life support systems, handling and packing. To carry out the feedings a culture of macroalgae was maintained outdoors, and thus appropriate tasks were carried out like parameters, cleaning of tanks, removal and quantification of seaweed, and application of fertilizer. Additionally a brief experiment was carried out to determine the growth of macroalgae in different salinity levels.