Beginning in 2008, several students from Long Island, New York have been coming up to assist in Laurie Connell's research. In the summer of 2010, 3 students - Lauren Joyce, Sam Winestein and Emily Passerelli pitched in to help with an ongoing project investigating the sensitivity of softshell clams in the Gulf of Maine to algal toxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins). Copied below are excerpts of their own account of the experience.
The Clam Crew
"Maine 2010: While we conducted a scientific experiment of how a red tide affects softshell clams, we managed to learn a lot and have a ton of fun... By placing five flower pots filled with clams in the muck in Coffin's Neck, we planned to remove one at each subsequent low tide, and perform a lateral flow assay on each batch of clams, testing for the presence of toxins...
We also learned how to sample the water to determine the cell count of Alexandrium present. Alexandrium is the main toxin associated with an algal bloom (more commonly known as a red tide) so the aim of this process was to see how harmful/strong the algal bloom was...
Thank you Laurie and Jenny, we appreciate all that you have done to make this trip a positive and memorable experience for us.
By: Lauren Joyce, Sam Winestein and Emily Passerelli
See the Clam Project page for more details