Sea Star Updates

In my last blog post, I spoke a bit about the developing Henricia that Dr. Allen and I have been working with. I am studying this large-egged brooding sea star to investigate the effects of reduced maternal investment. Since he had not worked with this species before, we decided to only observe this first set of embryos since the timeline for their development is still unclear. For my actual experimental data, I am planning to ablate one cell of the developing embryos once it gets to the two cell stage. However, the window of time that an egg spends in the two cell stage is small, so acutely understanding their development is necessary for the actual experiment.

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Investigating the effects of reduced maternal investment in sea stars

Hello! I am currently researching the effects of reduced maternal investment in large egged sea stars. Right now, I am working with the sea star Henricia. Initially, I had planned to use the grant to purchase a different genus of large-egged sea star, Solaster, but the long winter has not provided optimal conditions for our supplier to collect the sea stars from Maine. However, in his last shipment to Allen lab, the supplier provided a several extra Henricia, which allowed us to begin preliminary work on another large-egged sea star while waiting for the Solaster. Additionally, on Dr. Allen’s last trip to Maine, he collected a few individuals of Henricia, and as a result we had plenty to work with!

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