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Algal Rhythms

As Isabel Silva-Romero collects data for her research, the only sound she hears is her own breathing. Today, her lab is located six meters underwater, in a cove off the coast of San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Archipelago. She uses a metal tool to loosen algae patches from the rocky reef as another member of her team, Katelyn Gould, holds a device called CISME (pronounced “kiss-me”), which seals the algae into a chamber where it measures metabolic rates like respiration and photosynthesis. While they work, a raft of juvenile sea lions surrounds them and tries to engage them in play.   Read more