Special thank you to the folks at Scripps SIO for a fantastic tour over spring break!!
Professor Victor Vaquier (http://mbrd.ucsd.edu/Research/labs/vacquier.php
) led the tour with an exploration of their experimental aquarium. The kids got to touch all kinds of interesting creatures including deep sea urchins. He then took us to see the Hamdoun lab where Joseph Campanale (http://www.hamdounlab.org/joes-profile-page/
) was doing some amazing research on urchin embryos and the cell response to different chemicals. It was very cool to see the cell splitting and development. I’m always partial to urchins! :)
Next, we went to Jen Smith’s lab on Coral Reef Ecology (http://coralreefecology.ucsd.edu/
). She gave us an really great overview of the work they do to understand the impact of climate change on the health of these important ecosystems. Ocean acidification and temperature increases are making these system more and more fragile. Add in overfishing and pollution runoff and the systems are rapidly collapsing.
We ended the tour meeting Professor Brad Moore in the Center for Marine Biotechnology & Biomedicine (http://scrippsscholars.ucsd.edu/bsmoore/pages/moore-lab-research
) where they discover new potential medicines from marine microbes. He showed the kids how to make little bombs out of dry ice. Awesome fun!
Thank you to Mary Darling and Jesse Brooks for setting it up.