I was contacted by my professor who was assigned to guide me through my thesis experiment and he informed me that I will be starting as soon as Monday on preparations for the experiment because the sea lamprey larvae that we will be studying have already come in. I'm excited and nervous and will probably spend the rest of the weekend just reading about sea lamprey. I 'm nervous but also feel like my time in college doing more hands on stuff has given me the confidence I needed to do this. Money well spent.
My experiment will consist of observing whether or not sea lamprey larvae have a behavioural response to chemoreceptor chemicals (an alarm signal) released by other sea lamprey when they are attacked by a predator. This will consist of placing some sea lamprey flesh and fluid in a tank that contains a larva burrowed in a substrate of clear glass beads. The tank will have lines on it that will measure the depth in the substrate that the larva is at initially. If they move, I will have a way to measure how far. If they don't move, then we will know that these chemosensory chemicals are not effective in controlling larval behaviour. Because larval sea lmaprey are sedentary and buried in sediment in a river bottom, not many studies have been done on them and most sea lmaprey control is done on adults. This research will contribute to the growing body of knowledge about invasive sea lamprey control. Exciting!