by Caroline Bilhete
Thanks to the QCBS Excellence Award, this past summer I was able to go to New Brunswick and participate in a training session given by a colleague of mine. This training allowed me to learn and adopt skills, which will benefit my field and thesis research in the future.
The first part of my training revolved around how to effectively catch young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon using an aquarium dipnet. Although this took a lot of time and practice, I was able to successfully capture fish by the end of the training session. Using the captured fish, I learned how to individually tag fish using a non-toxic elastomer dye. It was important that I learn how to correctly inject the dye into the fish in a non-stressful manner. If the tagging process is not done properly, the fish can suffer consequences related to growth rate, which might also cause behavioural changes.
It was also valuable that I learn how to set-up the experimental enclosures which will be used for my field research. As Catamaran Brook has many different areas with different environments, I was also shown the ideal research spots and the basics of how the specialized equipment is used and set-up.
The skills I obtained from this training session will be valuable for my future; moreover I will be able to pass on these skills and knowledge to future members and researchers of Dr. Grant’s lab.
The field setting is a very different experience compared to an office or lab-type environment. Because everything was hands-on, I was able to learn things quickly in a fun and enjoyable way. It was a first hand account of everything I am researching and working for.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience and made many memories that I will never forget.