15th Feb – 3rd March

After the last few rather moan-filled posts and a word from a friend about how ‘your blog wouldn’t make anybody want to do a PhD’ here we are with a fun-filled-joys-of-spring cheerful approach to seaweed.  Actually I am always joyful about seaweed, it is a sad obsession I’m not even ashamed to admit. 

Anyway, to the work, it is what I’m here for.  I have calibration graphs that could actually be used to calibrate, equipment all in the same place at the same time in the right size and quantity and experiments beginning.  Managed to make the most of the “sunny spells” at the weekend to head over to Cromer with a few people and whilst the boys played cricket I gathered some seaweed.  I found some I haven’t seen on the North Norfolk coast before and I’m pretty sure it’s Porphyra (although my seaweed identification skills leave room for improvement). Porphyra is very thin and sheet-like and so there might be some problems with fitting it into flasks or trying not to damage it.  As an aside, Porphyra is also known as laver…which is what they make laver bread from in Wales.  Although I have Googled this and I’m not sure boiled seaweed gloop really counts as bread…

Sunny spells and beach combing aside I’m busy in the lab.  In tropical seaweed farms they leave harvested seaweed out on platforms, planks or the beach to dry before it is processed and this is something I want to try to replicate in the lab as dry and dying seaweed has got to be emitting some interesting compounds.  So the poor Porphyra is undergoing various tests in desiccators and incubators.  There are some pictures below.  I’m also going to try looking at the effects of light stress on emissions and I’m gathering equipment for that together too. 

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