Brigida de Gracia, research technician in my lab, will receive funding from SENACYT to travel to Brazil to work closely with Prof. Orangel Aguilera on the thousands of fish otoliths that have been picked from fossil and modern reefs around the caribbean which we are using to reveal what reef fishes were like before humans began major harvesting. The three month fellowship will give Brigida the expert training in otolith identification needed. She will also get the chance to take a paleobiology course at the University Federal Fluminense, located in the spectacular Niteroi which sits on the opposite side of the bay to Rio De Janeiro, and has the most beautiful views.
And Erin Dillon, short term fellow in our lab, won a prestigious Save Our Seas Foundation fellowship to travel to the Dominican Republic to extract fossil shark dermal denticles (skin teeth) from the seven thousand year old reefs there (see here). Erin wants to find out whether Caribbean reefs were teaming with apex predators using the fossils of shark skin. You can read more about Erin’s fantastic project and her blood, sweat, tears, and joy of hunting the tiny fossil denticles at her blog a glimpse beneath the waves.
Many congratulations Brigida and Erin, and thanks to Save Our Seas and SENACYT for their support.