I can’t believe it’s already here!! Wasn’t it only a couple weeks ago that I told my husband he’d be with the kids, for a week by himself, while I did field research in Roatan!?
My name is Taryn, and I will be one of the students on the McLennan research team headed to Honduras. I am on what you would call the “extended degree plan”. I have been to many schools and changed majors multiple times, but I believe I have finally found my calling. I love Biology!! I’m proud to say, I will finally be finishing my bachelors as a Red Raider in the fall. I was so excited when I first heard about this undergraduate research opportunity last semester and was eager to see if it was even going to be feasible. With the support of my family and the anticipation of researching abroad, I couldn’t wait to get to work!!
It has been a labor of love this semester. Not only have we all been diligently researching and preparing for our individual projects in Roatan, but a majority of us have demanding work schedules, children, spouses, and 9+ additional academic hours biding for our time and energy. I have to say, I’m proud of all that we have accomplished because I know the dedication and work we have all already invested.
The title of my research is “Estimated Abundance and Population Growth of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans, in Coral Reef Communities of Roatan Honduras”. I chose to base my research on an issue that I felt was pertinant to the area we would be visiting and that my data may later be used to benefit in any way possible. The lionfish, like any species unnaturally introduced to an area, has had devastating effects. The future effects of this invasion on coral reefs and different ecosytems of the Atlantic, Bahamas, Gulf, and Caribbean can only best be hypothesized by further research. By studying the anatomy, physiology, species abundance, population spread, and how the lionfish interact with native species we can more accurately predict the toll this species invasion may have on this area of the world.
I hope you enjoy following our research team on this most exciting adventure!!!!