The world seems to be in flux these days, but one can take a certain comfort in knowing that there are thousands of little green slugs sucking sap out of algae in shallow waters throughout the world.
Despite the travel craziness, the E. clarki and E. crispata at home have been having a nice summer. Now that the Bryopsis factory at Shady Grove is consistently producing algae, the slugs have been face down in food almost 24/7. The slugs are as big and colorful as I have ever seen.
This is looking like a great time for Elysia and slug science.
For example, at the Universities at Shady Grove, we’ll be starting a literature review on chemical ecology. A small group of students has agreed to join me in weekly journal clubs covering chemical ecology, algal secondary metabolites, plant herbivore interactions, kleptoplasty, and other topics related to Sacoglossans and their food plants.
The preparations for Bahia in 2018 are also moving steadily. We are identifying fudning, assembling equipment,and making detailed plans to extend the work on identifying algal food and defensive compounds of Elysia diomedea.
Check back for updates and insights as they develop.