“Every season I enjoy watching a cohort of fellows, both highschoolers and undergraduates, blossom and come into their own as researchers and as members of the community. And the fact that I can still conduct research myself is intellectually stimulating and it allows me to think about the kinds of work that we’re all doing at Tyson.”
Would you like to talk a little bit about how you are simulating climate change?
“Sure! Since 2015 we have been working with Katie Westby on a project that looks at the role of an invasive species on parasite infection of native container mosquitoes. We have forty buckets, each a different age. A quarter of them were set up three years ago, a quarter more, two years ago, one year ago, and then this year. We’re warming half of them using aquarium heaters up to about three degrees Celsius above ambient. Three degrees C is an average prediction of climate change-related warming in the near future in this area. So we’re loosely trying to simulate climate change in these buckets.”
What was one of the hardest parts of setting up an experiment like this?
“We needed to have power to run the aquarium heaters, but we're doing it out in the field where we don't have electricity. We could use the easy approach and put out a gas powered generator to run the whole thing for ten weeks over the summer... and pump more carbon into the atmosphere. It's kind of contrary to the point, right? So I set up this solar powered generator.”