Dr. Ron Kiene's new lab members kicked off their journey at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab with a North Pacific research cruise. Allie Smith and Kyle Halstead recently joined Dr. Kiene's lab to continue their studies. 

Smith, a native of Carthage, Tennessee is working towards her Ph.D., and Halstead, native to Knoxville, Tennessee is working towards his Masters in Science. 

Halstead is no stranger to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. His first venture on campus was Discovery Hall Program's Marine Science High School Course in 2012. From there, he enrolled at Spring Hill College for a B.S. in organismal biology and a minor in biochemistry. His coursework at Spring Hill brought him back to campus for University Programs summer courses. 

"I was interested to see what I could do in this field," Halstead said. 

Smith felt the same after learning about Dr. Kiene's work. 

"The Dauphin Island Sea Lab seemed like the best fit, and I was interested in Ron's research," Smith said. 

The first month working with Dr. Kiene was an intense 17 day cruise aboard the research vessel Oceanus studying DMSP. 

"Before leaving, I didn't comprehend the hours of constant work and constant sampmling," Smith said. "The cruise was a great opportunity to familizure ourselves with the equipment and sampling methods used when studying DMSP."

Dr. Kiene's team after arriving back on shore. From left: Kyle Halstead, Tara Williams, Jess Gwinn, and Allie Smith.

Halstead added," I was aware of the amount of work, such as being up at 2 in the morning sampling. However, the experiment methods and the tools were new to me."

With a cruise under their belts, Halstead and Smith are looking forward to what's next. 

"We assisted in the experiments on the cruise, and learned so much about what we'll be using to do our own experiments," Smith said. 

"I'm ready to learn more about this type of science," Halstead said. "I never thought of looking into DMS and DMSP myself. Learning more is always my favorite thing."

Both are also looking forward to being the veterans on their next cruise.

"We'll be more comfortable in our surroundings and prepared for the long hours," Smith said. 

To learn more about Dr. Kiene's recent cruise, click here.