It’s home movie time! Not the sort of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ blooper reel, or the sort of “movie” that comes back to haunt you at the peak of your political career, just a little something we made in the lab today. I happen to sit next to a crazy Italian lady in the office. There may be downsides; just today she set some of my equipment on fire and then locked me in the cold room. But, fire and ice, aside there are some major benefits. Firstly, there’s the mean tiramisu that appears every now and then. Secondly, there was a little boat trip she took me out on last Friday to help her collect copepods.
Raf’s PhD is based around these marine copepods, crustaceans that graze on phytoplankton in the surface ocean. Spring is here, the water is warming, and there’s plenty of phytoplankton so Raf’s busy going out to sea regularly to collect copepods. We set off from Great Yarmouth on an amazingly sunny Friday morning and when we were out in clearer water we collected lots of tanks of seawater for the lab (the trouble with an inshore lab is not having seawater on tap!) and put out the plankton net behind the boat to collect copepods.
Back in the lab Raf sorts out the copepods by hand using a microscope. Many of these species have many different stages in their lifecycle – identifying what’s what and what turns into what can be a bit tricky. But Raf’s sat there sorting out the lady-pods from the boy-pods! Whilst she’s there segregating and sorting I shot some little videos of nauplii (one of the many copepod life stages) larvae. Not sure I’m about to win any Palm D’or awards but it’s quite cute to see them swim about.