Miami after few months
by Romain Chaput, on
I left Miami yesterday and I feel I will come back over there as soon as possible. In January Dr Claire Paris welcomed me in her lab and team and gave me the wonderful opportunity to develop my own research project. I chose to study the impact of the coral diversity on the fish larvae dispersion and recruitment. I arrived in the lab and was immediately integrated in the team.
Together we developed lab experiments, modified a model, and organized field sampling. Our results are above all expectations. We found that larvae are more attracted by high diversity reefs and showed that this preference coupled with orientation behavior could change the dispersion and settling location of fish larvae.
Last week I sent my master thesis and realized how much work was done during these 6 months and how much my co-workers helped me. From advice on setting up lab experiments, to driving the boat during field work, they helped me on everything. Today I would like to tell them thank you. In Miami I have found very nice people, team mates and friends (also called the French mafia at the RSMAS). Matt, Cedric, Andy, Erica, David and Ana, without you I don't know if would have been able to go in the field, to do the model, to deal with the administration, and to always feel motivated.
They also take on their time to make me travel in Florida, to visit Miami, to go to parties (not sure this last point was boring for them). I discovered the RSMAS, and I was happy to see a big university (or department) working on various fields of marine sciences. It is always interesting to talk with everybody and it opened my mind on so many subjects completely new for me. This place is also very well furnished in nice scientific equipments and full of opportunities to develop projects.
To do this internship at the RSMAS was something very important for me. I had the chance to work with very good professors and researchers to learn more on corals, statistics and of course modeling. Now, thank to the experience I acquired, I feel more comfortable about doing a PhD and I really hope to do it with the same team!
Here is a picture of a late stag larvae (very, very late ;) ) and a plot of a simulation of dispersal of larvae over Florida reefs using the Connectivity Modelling System.