Bobby Scharping and Dr. Garey completed a dive in Hudson Grotto yesterday. The goal was to bring a full set of samples from the deep section (132 ft deep). It was Bobby's first scientific dive using a rebreather. We dropped down to the bottom of the grotto and headed to the south wall, and turned left until we found a section of wall with extensive microbial mat. Although the surface water was 89 degrees, the bottom was 74 degrees in this anchialine system. We collected a water sample for stable isotopes, and then filled 9 syringes with microbial mat samples from the wall. After that we moved a few meters away to avoid the sediment we disturbed and collected water column samples, and finally, some sediment samples. We spent another 30 minutes or so decompressing and making our way to the surface. Once we arrived back in the lab, Madison, Vickie and others were there to process the samples and carry out the chemistry tests and DNA extractions. So it was another great day!
Thanks to graduate student Christina Moss, we have a new Garey Lab website. We are trying out a blog to keep interested folks up to date on the lab activities. Now in early August we are planning a dive next week to Hudson Grotto to collect some deep microbial mat samples for Madison Davis' project. Other than that, lab members are catching up on LH-PCR and qPCR runs and analyzing some Illumina sequence datasets collected earlier this year. I include a photo of a lab meeting in the office taken late last year.