Looking at Viruses and Bacteria in Water Column Samples

I am currently on my third week of research, and for the most part I have been processing nice months of water samples that I collected during the past school year. My project focuses on viral ecology in streams; specifically if viral community composition and abundance changes over time and space and how they infect bacterial biofilms on streambeds. Beginning in October of 2016, I have sampled the Crim Dell Stream on campus at three locations (named CDP, CDU, and CDL) every month. That has amounted to twenty-seven water column samples that I have spent the last two and a half weeks working with.

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Terrapin Turtle Ecology Research: Hunting Island State Park, SC

Hello All!

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Peter Myer, I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m currently a sophomore at the College of William and Mary. I’m also a member of the the St. Andrews Joint Degree Program.

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Preparing to Head North

My model is progressing nicely. I’ve made a few alterations to fix things, and hit a few snags that need to be worked out. But the main thing I’ll be doing this week is preparing for the trip to Vermont and Maine. All the datasheets that we need to fill out need to be organized and include all sorts of data from previous years, such as what tree number is in which plot and how high or how wide each tree was. The trees need to be organized so we can walk the plots in order and not have to rustle through the sheets to find the right paper every time we reach a new plot. We also need to determine exactly what data we need to be collecting. There really is no limit to what we want, we are only limited by what we have time to collect! Departure is in less than a week, so I’ll be very busy.

Kernels

I finally got the model working! The kernel looks good and its graph is pretty (below). I’ve used some iterative code to find the model’s stable population growth rate, stable stage distribution, and reproductive value vector. I have not used a very large matrix due to the computing limitations of my laptop, but I can easily transfer my code to a more powerful computer when it becomes necessary.

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Progress

I’ve created a regression for converting dbh to height and it’s working pretty well. One issue with it is that when I combine the data for young trees (which were measured in height) and bigger trees (which I converted), there is very little variance among the heights of larger trees; the conversion has served as a smoother of the data. This makes a regression for growth fit much more nicely, but unfortunately also creates an uneven distribution of residuals. I have attached a variance to the conversion to add some variance among its outputs, but there is still a skew in the residuals. I am currently looking into implications this may have.

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