Welcome to our blog! We are excited to document our summer in the Hornbach/MacGregor lab at Macalester College! But who are we?
Hi-ya, I’m Maya! I’m a senior Biology major and almost Japanese minor. I’m from La Crosse, Wisconsin and I enjoy petting puppies, seeking free food events, taking naps, people watching, and hanging out with my rice cooker. My favorite invertebrate phylum is Arthropoda, but there are some outstanding Mollusca members as well. I do not enjoy things with more than six legs (other than millipedes and crabs). I am interested in conservation biology and learning how to apply other disciplines to biology, which got me excited about researching native freshwater mussels this summer. So far, my favorite mussel is the Three Ridge (Amblema plicata)--it constantly defies expectations and can have more than three ridges! My favorite color today is slaty blue.
I’m Clara! I’m a senior Biology major and unofficial art minor. I’m from Arlington, Massachusetts. I like rowing, biking, pesto, camping, gummies, denim on denim, water bottles, and my favorite phylum (besides Mollusca, of course) is Cnidaria--gotta love those siphonophores! I really enjoy exploring the boundary between science and art (although I don’t really think there is one) and discovering how each one can communicate the same ideas in such different, and yet such similar, ways. I love being outside, especially doing scientific research related to wildlife and conservation, and the mussel project seemed super cool--the wet suits are just a bonus! My favorite mussel is definitely the Wabash pigtoe (F. flava) and my favorite part of this project so far is watching mussels stick their little squishy feet out of their shell to lick their neighbors. You can often find me watching my basil plants grow and protecting them from hungry housemates. I’m super excited for this summer!!
Hi, I’m Brooke from Stillwater, Minnesota. I am a Junior Geology major and math minor here at Macalester. I first became interested in this project because it provided an opportunity to combine multiple fields of science (geology and biology), and a chance to study the health of Minnesota’s native mussels and the river systems they live in. Prior to this project, I knew little to nothing about mussels, but after some time spent in the field, the heelsplitter mussels have become my favorite. My geology side wants to say my favorite mineral - olivine. I enjoy spending free-time playing volleyball and going to the lake!
Molly here. Who am I? Well...
I grew up collecting agates and eating “world famous” pie in tourist town Two Harbors, MN, along Lake Superior. My interest in rocks metamorphosed into a full-fledged college career, as I am now a Macalester senior majoring in Geology. When I’m not draining my snorkel nose piece of water, I can be found collecting fossils by the Mississippi, grocery shopping, and trying to learn languages. Favorite color: orange. Another thing that is incredibly important to know is that I love steamed broccoli. My interests in this project developed as a junior, when I learned about river processes from a more geological standpoint. I am excited to now look at river systems with both a biological and geological focus in mind. What I really like about mussels so far, is that while they may feel like rocks sometimes, they’re actually alive (which is not a normal occurrence for the average geologist!). Favorite mussel: any heelsplitter variety!
Stay tuned for our many mussel adventures to come!