Research Technician

I have moved around the Sars Centre (for Marine Molecular Biology) a bit now since beginning here with a 50% position last November. Now I am moving my way up the ladder. Last week I began full-time as a research technician for the cnidaria facility (sea anemones).

My main responsibility is keeping the animals alive by regulating the tank system, feeding and washing the animals. I have become quite technical with the new position.

So in the morning when I come in, I prepare the food (artemia sea monkeys) to feed the Nematostella (anemones). And then prepare the batch of artemia due for feeding the day after next. Then I give them some time to eat. In the meantime, the resesarchers put boxes of animals in the incubators to stimulate reproduction. I pull out packages of eggs and fertilize them.

Cultivating brine shrimp/sea monkeys/artemia

The boxes get washed on a schedule - each one is done once a month. And that takes up most of my day. However, next week I will learn how to identify transgenic animals. So once the animals I fertilized go back up to the lab, the eggs begin to develop and a florescent dye is injected into the embryos. This dye tracks how the nervous system develops. Nematostella is a common species to do these tests on because they are so simple.

There are twice as many boxes as this that get taken care of in our facility. Two new research groups will start in the fall and also use the animals.  

Hydra are also taken care of in the facility. They are relatively labor intensive for such tiny critters.
So that is a look into my day, as of now. It's quite a tiring and active job, but I'm enjoying being employed full time. Also, still need to get those pictures from Marius to post about our Madrid trip last month.

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