A person in beanie and waders kneels in an eelgrass meadow, examining a blade of seagrass.
Undergraduate Malia Reiss examines eelgrass in Tomales Bay. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

How Students Dive into Marine Science at UC Davis

Undergraduate Research Helps Shape Our Understanding of the Ocean’s Coast and Climate at Bodega Marine Laboratory

UC Davis junior Caroline Donohew watched the everyday power of biology in just five minutes during her summer session class at UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory, or BML, a coastal research and education facility about 100 miles west of campus. 

While observing a mussel’s muscle through a microscope, “I saw it create a byssal thread in real time,” said Donohew, who is from San Anselmo. “And it was just so cool.” 

Mussels have an actual muscle called a foot that secretes a “liquid that hardens when it comes into contact with seawater,” Donohew explained. “They stick their little foot down on the rock, pull it back and there’s a thread.”

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