We’ve been sampling every day for Coral Ponds 1 and 2. We are up to almost 500 samples… which means we have a lot of DNA extractions to do.
I’ve noticed a few things in the last month. The coral used to be white, but now it is covered with a reddish algae. This is good because clearly things are changing, which is what this study is about! If macroscopic things (for example, the visible algae) are changing, then the microscopic things (microbial community) are most definitely changing as well!
On a side note, Matt and I discovered the time it took for a full round of sampling at maximum efficiency. With water filtering being the rate limiting step of our sampling process, we focused on wasting no time with the filtering. By this I mean, we had the next liter of water ready to go instantly after the current liter was done filtering. We also set a timer to remind us to keep adding water to the filter. Out of curiosity, I timed our last filtration and it took 17 minutes and 30 seconds. Overall we were able to complete the sampling in about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Being the mathematician that I am (just kidding), I assumed each filtration (6 total) took about 17 minutes and 30 seconds and calculated the time that water was not being filtered from the time we started to the time we finished: 5 minutes! I’d we were pretty productive.