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The Beast and the big “What if?”

Friday, February 19th, 2010

For many SERC scientists, field research comes to a halt in the winter. Some manage to head off to the tropics to investigate invasive species or mangroves, but not photobiologist Pat Neale. Neale and his assistants are spending a good part of their time these days in his lab with the Beast.

Photobiologist Pat Neale with his photoinhibitron

Photobiologist Pat Neale wears eyeglasses that protect him from the Beast's UV rays.

The Beast does not bite, but if you look at it the wrong way it will hurt you. In fact it can char your corneas if you’re not careful. That’s because it reflects and filters ultraviolet light. UV rays are invisible to the naked eye, but are high in energy and potentially damaging to animals and plants. As a photobiologist Neale studies how UV rays affect aquatic environments and the organisms that live in them.
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