sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities

Clams, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia: First Month in Davis, California

Written by Anna Manore, MSc Candidate

After an early flight on Friday the 13th, I felt very lucky to arrive safe and sound in sunny Davis, California! I’m incredibly fortunate to be spending the next few months at UC Davis, working in Dr. Karen Shapiro’s lab to test clam samples from Nunavut for the enteric pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

My first weekend was spent running errands and settling in. One part of my routine that I could continue was a Saturday morning visit to the Farmer’s Market. Although the atmosphere at the Davis market is like the one in Guelph, the variety of produce is very different. The farmer’s market is right next door to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame – which is well-placed in Davis. The whole city is very bike-friendly, and almost perfectly flat, making it easy to get around on two wheels. The only obstacle to biking is the rain. This winter in Davis has been very rainy, and it’s definitely taken some getting used to!

For the first few weeks in the lab, I’ve been learning a lot by shadowing Beatriz, the lab technician. She’s been so great and has been teach me the lab methods I’ll be using. I’ve also been working to compare different gel dyes so I can compare my results to ones that I get in Guelph. The work I’ve been doing is helping to lay the groundwork before I begin testing my clam samples, which will hopefully happen soon!

My first California adventure was a short weekend trip to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Seeing otters and sea lions right from the beach was a highlight of my trip so far!


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