Field Samples is a weekly Q&A asking researchers what they’ve been up to and what they’ve learned. Today, CFL grad student, Jake Walsh, talks Lake Mendota and the invasive spiny water flea.
Who are you, where are you from, and how did you get to where you are now?
I’m Jake Walsh, a PhD student with Jake Vander Zanden. I love watching the Minnesota Timberwolves play basketball (or what they’re passing for basketball now-a-days), playing tennis, long walks through my cruddy neighborhood with my wife and dog, and the occasional video game binge.
I’m from Hastings, MN (smaller town on the Mississippi south of St. Paul) and I got my BS in Biology at Hamline University in St. Paul. I got addicted to getting paid to go out boating while doing research with Dr. Leif Hembre at Hamline University. We were doing research on spiny water fleas’ effect on Daphnia’s stress response (elevated heart rate) and some genetics work on trying to track SWF’s movement across the Great Lakes Region.
This got me interested in
1) figuring out how I can get paid to enjoy lakes
2) how I make a career out of obsessing over zooplankton (I have since expanded my interests pretty substantially), and
3) how I can help provide insights into the problems posed by invasive species which naturally lead me to Jake Vander Zanden’s lab here at the CFL.
It wasn’t until I came and visited the CFL that I found out that SWF had invaded the lake in 2009. I swear that I had nothing to do with it. Continue reading