Monday, July 8, 2013

Charnelle Bland's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 2

For the past few weeks I have been out on another cruise and continuing research in the lab as well. However, I will discuss the cruise in my third blog! Now at Valdosta State, we continued the cleaning process of the samples. Last time, I left off on how we acid washed the samples. Afterwards, we diluted the samples, which took us about a week. After letting the samples settle, we removed the top layer of water. Then, we centrifuged the samples 10 times, continuing the removal of the water process.

These samples were then glued on two microscope slides per data set using naphrax, and small drops of the samples were placed on SEM (scanning electron microscope) stubs as well. On the light microscope, we are able to look at and identify the different communities of diatoms and dinoflagellates.

Here are some examples of the different types of diatoms that we have noticed so far on both the SEM and light microscope:

Aside from the washing of the iodine samples that were collected, Anastasia and I did a pigment analysis of the chlorophyll samples. We created the Mobile A and B solutions (90% methanol & 10% Ion Pairing/ 73% Methanol & 27% Acetone) to place in the high performance liquid chromatography machine, and we added 2 mL of extraction solution to our chlorophyll samples. Then, we let the samples remain in the freezer overnight.

Afterwards, we centrigued our samples and extracted the solutions from the test tubes to place in HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) vials, which went into the machine.

These samples were then analyzed for different chlrophyll types, such as A and B, and we also checked for other data. We are trying to estimate the amount of phytoplankton communties that are present in the ocean before we actually count them. This will help us get a better understanding of what’s actually present in our samples and what we can look for.  

Thanks for reading!

Charnelle Bland, Valdosta State University


  1. Very interesting. I am so amazed how much you have grown over the years my child into this awesome person

  2. Charnelle - great explanation of the methods of sample treatment for us non-phytoplankton types! I love looking at the SEMs- these organisms are beautiful in their own way. Sounds like you are working hard, but I hope you are enjoying it too!

    1. Thank you Tina! And I'm having a great time :)

  3. :) aren't we just a scientist. I like your hairstyle with the beanie

  4. Lol thank you! ^_^