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The Ocelloid

The Ocelloid

Through the eye of a microbe
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    Psi Wavefunction Psi Wavefunction is a graduate student working with protists (the 'other' eukaryotes) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and now blogs about protists and evolution at Skeptic Wonder. Follow on Twitter @Ocelloid.
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  • Extinction (or lateral transfer?)

    This has been coming for a while, but I needed a push to make it official. I’m not much of a blogger anymore (four posts a year doesn’t quite cut it), so it’s only fair that I wrap things up at SciAm Blogs, at least for the foreseeable future. Maybe I’ll find inspiration again someday [...]

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    From the surface of stinky mud: diatoms, their parasites, and other comrades-in-silt


    An advantage of having a, let’s say, ‘volatile’ memory is that you can sit back and do microscopy… on your own hard drive. When sampling is good, you have only so much time to deal with everything, so images accumulate faster than you can process them. The idea is that then soon after you take [...]

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    Greetings from Halifax, a world centre of protistology!

    I finally made the move I was supposed to do months (if not years) ago! Through a strange twist of evolutionary contingency (the same kind through which our kind came about in the first place), Dalhousie University in Halifax has become host to one of the worst infestations of protistologists in the world. For now, [...]

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    A Fork in the Red, 2013 (Medium: algae on glass)

    A fork in the red

    Isn’t it great when your art subjects cooperate and model themselves? Algae are inherently photogenic — especially if they look like fuzz or goo to the naked eye! While many macroalgae (this big seaweeds you find on the beach) require considerable skill and equipment to show off at their best, filamentous algae are usually thin [...]

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    An ink dinoflagellate

    Things have been a little tense lately… here, have a dinoflagellate! (kinda looks like a space ship, no?) This ink drawing is based on Protoperidium, a dinoflagellate notable for its ‘pallium feeding‘: upon finding something tasty but awkwardly-shaped, it extrudes a ‘feeding veil’ in the form of a pseudopod-like structure, which then envelops the prey [...]

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    Handy resource for freshwater protists and micro-adventuring

    There exists a wonderful book with an illustrated key to the more common protists you can find in freshwater: Free-Living Freshwater Protozoa by Paddy Patterson. However, as many good things in life, it is out of print and thus very expensive (though relatively cheap-ish in the above link at the time of writing this). However, it [...]

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    A polyp’s pet rotifers

    As penance for irregular posting, have a pair of seemingly-symbiotic rotifers in a cnidarian (jellyfish) polyp. There were several of them on several polyps, and they seemed not to mind the tentacles (loaded with stinging cells containing a harpoon-like weapon with paralytic abilities). Unlike the dividing ciliate in the corner — standing still as it [...]

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    Int’l Congress of Protistology follow-up and overview

    (I’m a month late on writing this — apologies, getting settled in at a new job in a marine station, until December) A few weeks ago, about 300 of us had a total blast in Vancouver, savouring the once-a-year opportunity to talk protists at each other and not get total blank stares in return! Blank [...]

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    Random image:

    To keep things alive while I’m at an awesome conference (that you should follow on twitter, see previous post), let’s have a random image of tardigrade (water-bear) guts; the brown stuff is semi-digested food. See, I go away, and animals start encroaching on my blog…

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    Live coverage of protist bonanza in Vancouver — ICOP 2013 28 July — 02 August

    It’s that most wonderful time of the year again: the big protist conference season. Every year around this time, one or more of the protist societies hold meetings full of people who might actually understand and care about some of your research, minutiae or otherwise. Actually, that last part is true of just about every [...]

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