My summer was learning all about nematology. I learned how to do soil extractions, nematode identification, isolating single samples, culturing nematodes, and other techniques related to nematodes. I learned how to use many new tools useful across biology fields.
My project ended up landing on one nematode, Bursaphelenchus antoniae, a pathogen of conifers that is vectored by the pine weevil. To collect these phoretic nematodes, we start by trapping the weevil in a pine beetle ‘Lindgren’ funnel trap. Attached are attractive volatile compounds to imitate a pine tree. Next we collect and dissect the weevil to get the nematodes out.