View Full Version : Do you have Chaeto? Scientific study seeks your input!!

03/10/2015, 11:33 PM
:bounce3:Hello RCers! I've spoken with the moderators and they've given the go-ahead for me to contact you all about an interesting project I'd like to involve the RC community in.

My name is Anna Simeon and I'm a graduate researcher (specializing in phycology) affiliated with the University of Guam as well as the government's Bureau of Statistics and Plans. In the last three years, Guam has experienced a problematic bloom of Chaetomorpha (also known as "chaeto" ) on our reef flats that is starting to overgrow and shade corals, and we are concerned this bloom will harm our already-stressed reef ecosystem. Chaeto blooms have also been reported in the Caribbean and in Australia.

In collaboration with NOAA and other international researchers, Dr. Tom Schils and I are in the process of starting a project to use genetics to determine if this is (1) an invasive species or (2) a native species that has bloomed because of some environmental factor. We already have wild samples of Chaetomorpha from all over the world, and we'd like to compare samples of what YOU keep in your aquariums to those in order to determine which strains are commonly kept in reef tanks and if those are being accidentally released and established in new regions.

We are asking the RC community to help by donating some of their Chaetomorpha for genetic analysis. We will ship you a small package with silica gel (a non-toxic substance for preservation), detailed instructions, a short survey, and a prepaid return shipping envelope (nothing that will be shipped is toxic, illegal, or requires any special customs consideration.) We need only a very small amount of each sample - a small bunch about 1/4" in diameter.

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE please contact me here on RC or send an email to [email protected] with the following information. Your information will of course be kept confidential.

- Name
- E-mail address
- Mailing Address
- Where you got your Chaeto (ebay, fellow aquarist, local store, etc.)

Thank you in advance for your contributions - I will keep you all updated on the study as more information becomes available.

Feel free to ask any questions - I look forward to hearing from you all :)

03/11/2015, 03:25 PM
Hi, that sounds like pretty cool research. One question though, will the resulting research be released in a public access journal like PLOS?

03/11/2015, 10:17 PM
Great question. I don't know what journal this will ultimately end up in, however since the funding is federal NOAA money, I believe there's some kind of mandate to make the info public.

If you are interested in the final report and paper, let me know and I'll be sure you have access when they are available!

03/11/2015, 10:38 PM
Here's an article about the issue on NOAA's website:


03/12/2015, 05:32 AM
Anna, Pmex, just to pipe in (as I'm in research management) you're correct that there is a federal mandate that all research that is publicly funded (e.g. NOAA) must be made publicly available.

Just sent you an email with my contact info. Happy to provide a sample.

03/12/2015, 06:18 AM
Great - that's what I thought :) Thanks for your email - please spread the word :)

03/12/2015, 08:03 AM
ugh i forgot to email from home and I cannot email from work :( I would be happy to help though..

03/16/2015, 07:16 PM
No problem - this will be open for at least a month! Send info when you can :)

03/16/2015, 08:18 PM
Yes ill send in some of my Cheetos.

I thought Cheetos were in every country by now?

By the way the Flaming hot Cheetos are the best.

03/18/2015, 05:57 AM
Yes ill send in some of my Cheetos.

I thought Cheetos were in every country by now?

By the way the Flaming hot Cheetos are the best.

:lolspin: Spam-flavored cheetos are all the rage out here!

04/20/2015, 12:38 PM
Pleasure to help......PM sent

05/03/2015, 10:06 PM
are you still doing this?

06/14/2015, 05:08 PM
Yes ill send in some of my Cheetos.

I thought Cheetos were in every country by now?

By the way the Flaming hot Cheetos are the best.

But wouldn't they go stale in the research bag?

06/14/2015, 05:53 PM
no the interns end up eating them first!

06/15/2015, 11:39 AM
Pmsent with contact info.

07/06/2015, 08:03 PM
What's the status of this? I have some Chaetomorpha that I can pull from my tank if you're still looking for some.

Note: the Chaetomorpha we grow in our tanks require higher phosphate levels than I think you guys should be seeing in natural sea water. Phosphates in our reef tanks are usually >0.03 ppm whereas natural reefs are measured around 0.005 ppm (from what I've read).

07/10/2015, 09:39 AM
This poster appears to have disappeared. I'm starting to wonder if it wasn't just a spam to get a bunch of our contact info.

07/10/2015, 09:55 AM
Her name and email address (on her account here) jibbed with info from U. of Guam. I expect it's simply a matter of she got the samples she wanted, and has simply not bothered keeping the helpful hobbyists in the loop.