Monday, December 31, 2012

400th POST! 2012 Cool Happenings & Top Posts from the Echinoblog!

As 2012 draws to a close here are Five (of course) cool and awesome things that the Echinoblog enjoyed this year! These are not in any particular order....

1. MENTORSHIP!  This year I mentored 3 kids from Iolani high school in Honolulu, Hawaii who studied brisingids (deep- sea asteroids). Their research was entered into the International Science and Engineering Fair and they were rewarded for their efforts!

Here was their group pin..
A video that shows some of the neat biology (time lapse behavior) from their engineering feats!

2. THIRST DC.  I gave a great and fun talk to a new social venue in Washington DC for the Smithsonian. Here's my brief outreach talk for the very gracious audience.

I also gave some Fun talks for volunteers at the NMNH,  Invertebrate House for the National Zoo AND American University! 

3. ANTARCTIC INVERTEBRATES  Go here! I provide a list of neat Antarctic invertebrates for all to enjoy including everyone's favorite monstrous Antarctic scale worm  Eulagisca gigantea!!

I'm always happy when something I do takes off and gets widely circulated this one did so in a pretty big way..
The blog was picked up by my good friends at Deep Sea News (go here) and then later on by the Austrian Newspaper Der Standard (here) (this was in no small part to Miriam Goldstein! thanks!)

By the way the pictures from the US Antarctic Research Program (here) were WIDELY circulated and not always given proper credit. So let's remember that public research funded some of the interesting reading from here and here.

Other popular Echinoblog posts included:
1. Sand Dollars ARE Sea Urchins! Please make a note of it!
2. Sea Cucumber Evisceration Defense! 
3. Sea Cucumber: Cuverian Tubule Defense!
4. Pedicellariae Diversity
5. The Anal Cone Controversy!
6. How Starfish Tube Feet work!

To Brussels, Belgium in August for the 14th International Echinoderm Conference!  Echinoderms were studied, argued about and laughed upon! and as with the asteriid sea stars I have studied, mussels were devoured!

and to Paris in November for research with my French colleagues at the Museum national d'Histoire naturelle!  see here  and here! 

2013 promises publications that feature new species and other new discoveries published from data collected in 2012! (yeah, I know that sounds lame but that's how it works sometimes...)

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who has supported the Echinoblog!! 2013 promises to be a good one but as always..I'm happy to hear what topics you'd like to read about!