Fish number 700!

It has been silent for a while here but in the background quite some progress has been made. Two days ago I drank a whiskey on fish number 700. Needed to remind myself about how much work it was to test all these fish in the field.

One of the weirdest and most beautiful cichlids of Lake Tanganyika. This species lives on the sand and behaves a little bit like a vacuum cleaner.

What does it mean to test one fish with my experimental design? Firstly, this fish has to be caught. That‘s the most fun part: diving. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to do it myself. I usually pay trained divers from the surrounding villages to do the fish catching for me. Next, the fish go to an experimental pond and are video recorded for an hour. Afterwards, they undergo a standardised procedure (measure, DNA sample etc. – about 15 min). The evaluation of the video material takes another hour. Including preparation time, we can easily calculate 3 hours of work per fish. This does not include the planning of the field trip which was almost a mission impossible this year due to Corona. 2100 hours plus…I should have a couple of more glasses of whiskey, don’t you think?

Not complaining at all by the way. This postdoc project is an awesome possibility for me and I am enjoying every second of it.

This is me!!! I was close to actually try this!

Next blog will be about why I desperately need chemicals here…organic doesn’t work against these little suckers I tell you!!!

Published by caribiologist

Postdoc at the University of Basel, Switzerland

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