Over at Slate, more Scientist in vivo

By Christie Wilcox | July 1, 2013 11:16 am

“Do you know what this is?” James Morris looks at me, eyes twinkling, as he points to the guts of a dissected lionfish in his lab at the National Ocean Service’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, N.C. I see some white chunky stuff. As a Ph.D. candidate at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, I should know basic fish biology literally inside and out. When I cut open a fish, I can tell you which gross-smelling gooey thing is the liver, which is the stomach, etc.

He’s testing me, I think to myself. Morris is National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s pre-eminent scientist studying the invasion of lionfish into U.S. coastal waters. He’s the lionfish guy, and we met in person for the first time just a few days earlier. We’re processing lionfish speared by local divers, taking basic measurements, and removing their stomachs for ongoing diet analyses. Not wanting to look bad, I rack my brain for an answer to his question. It’s not gonads. Not spleen. I’m frustrated with myself, but I simply can’t place the junk; I’ve never seen it before. Finally, I give up and admit that I’m completely clueless.

Learn what I learned: head over to Slate to read the rest!

Scientist in vivo lets you peek behind the scenes at what my life is like as a researcher so you can learn more about what I actually do for a living and what makes my job so rewarding. 

More info on the lionfish invasion:

CATEGORIZED UNDER: More Science, select, Top Posts

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About Christie Wilcox

Dr. Christie Wilcox is a science writer and postdoctoral scholar at the University of Hawaii. She freelances for major media outlets including The New York Times and Popular Science. Her first book, Venomous, releases July 2016 (Scientific American/FSG Books). To learn more about her life and work, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.


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@NerdyChristie on Twitter

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