Students do summer research at Friday Harbor Labs
Katrina Johnson investigated the feeding preferences of the graceful kelp crab (Pugettia gracilis), comparing crab feeding rates between a native canopy forming kelp (bull kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana) and an invasive brown seaweed (wireweed, Sargassum muticum). In addition to her laboratory feeding experiments, Katrina also spent time in the field, snorkeling to collect graceful kelp crabs and to begin to quantify crab abundance in nearshore bull kelp habitats in the Salish Sea.
James Calhoon investigated the feeding preferences of larger red (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) and smaller green (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) urchins, offering the urchins a choice between native bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and invasive wireweed (Sargassum muticum). James snorkeled to collect urchins and also assisted in annual bull kelp density counts at several sites on San Juan Island, Washington State.