Sunday, August 4, 2013



Let the sorting commence! Fieldwork is finished for the summer, but we've only just begun. In Fiji last month, our lab collected 217 fish specimens which we preserved in formaldehyde, wrapped in linen, stuffed into buckets, and shipped back to the USA.

Now that we're back in New York, all 217 specimens have been sorted by species and origin. They've been labeled, preserved in ethanol, and stowed in large glass jars to line the shelves of the ichthyological collections of The American Museum of Natural History. There, they join fishes collected across the globe, in a massive repository of information on the world's biodiversity. These samples are now a physical resource, providing a snapshot of diversity and morphology for current and future biologists interested in the fishes of Fiji. 

Next up, we'll set to work extracting and analyzing DNA from the tissue samples we collected to paint a clearer picture of population-level interactions between Fijian coral reefs. Out of the field, there's still plenty to be done.   


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