The Fall 2016 semester is rapidly approaching and the Humphries Lab is tying up the loose ends and getting ready for the academic year. The new semester will bring new PhD and MS candidates Paul Carvalho, Elle Wibisono, and Katie Viducic. But before that happens, the current lab crew has a few weeks of their exciting summer seasons to wrap up.
Austin had a productive few months in Indonesia (with a trip to Hawaii and the Bahamas mixed in there). He spent a lot of time underwater off the island of Lombok looking at coral reefs, fish, and sampling plankton with Chris Lane from the Department of Biological Sciences at URI. Collaborators at Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia) helped make a short video of this work which you can check out HERE. Austin followed up this work with Amelia Moore and Rob Thompson of URI's Department of Marine Affairs. They interviewed fishers and tourism operators around Lombok to better understand the coastal communities who are linked to the coral reef for livelihood. Austin also spent a few weeks in the Spermonde Islands region of Indonesia off of Sulawesi, helping develop a baseline assessment for a large-scale coral restoration and sustainable fisheries project with partners from Hassanudin University (Indonesia), UC-Davis, and Mars Symbioscience. Lastly, Austin returned to Rhode Island in late August to do some kelp monitoring in Narragansett Bay, hitting the water temps at their yearly peak so he doesn't get too cold!
After a successful spring 2016 semester, Evans used the summer period to prepare his research proposal. In addition, he undertook an internship at East Farm with Kathy Castro, Barbara Somers, and Laura Skrobe from the URI Fisheries Center. In this role, Evans was busy collecting and analyzing morphometric data on Jonah crabs and American lobsters.
Lauren spent the summer on Martha's Vineyard, collecting data for her thesis. She helped in the initial installation of a 'living shoreline' salt marsh restoration project in June, and provided organizational support (read: beds and breakfast) to EPA collaborators for 2nd and 3rd installations in July and August. Lauren spent the remainder of her time surveying island visitors, residents, and local resource users about their opinions on prioritizing restoration efforts for the Vineyard's coastal salt ponds. She also served as public liaison for Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, the Audubon Society sanctuary where the 'living shoreline' was installed, integrating the restoration site into public outreach and education programming.
Diky went to Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia, as a part of the Coremap Coral Triangle Initiative (Coremap CTI), which aims to institutionalize coral reef fisheries management using an ecosystem-based approach. Diky gathered insight from fishermen about their activities within coral reef environments through stakeholder focus groups, resulting in a signed agreement to implement management plans for local reef fish. Following this, Diky visited Meos Mansar Island and Gam Island, which he helped select to serve as pilot sites for the management plan. While there, he gathered information on current fishing practices, such as fishing grounds and seasons, fishing gear, and catch.
The Humphries Lab is now looking forward to getting back together, swapping war stories about their first URI field seasons, and sharing some cozy office space down in the basement of Woodward Hall.