This summer lab member Sarah Albright spent every other weekend searching for native and non-native algae throughout San Francisco Bay. As preliminary research for her Master’s thesis, Sarah is creating a list of algae species residing in the Bay, and their current range. Some algae were found everywhere (such as Mastocarpus and Ulva), while others were only found in a few locations (such as at Oakland Port, where she found Codium fragile and Sargassum muticum).
Fig 1. Sarah carefully stepping along rocks covered in slimy Ulva spp. across from Oakland Port in order to reach the water’s edge, where Sargassum muticum has established alongside other introduced species of algae.
Sarah collected one specimen of each genus/species she could find during each trip and began to compile a small herbarium collection for future reference. These herbarium specimens will allow her to also take the time to more accurately ID individuals - though often, molecular analysis is required for identification to a species level. Nonetheless, these herbarium specimens can be used and archived should they become useful for another topic of interest at a later date.
Outreach with Del Oro High School students: Additionally, Sarah spent some time with Del Oro High School students in the field. These high school juniors and seniors learned ecological field survey techniques, become familiar with intertidal marine ecosystems and organisms, and assisted in real data collection for a Master’s Thesis.
Fig 2-4. Sarah training Del Oro High School students in the field identification of algae, how to create testable hypotheses from field observations, and field research concepts.
Guest contributor: Sarah Albright