Young Science Communicator Winner

I am pleased to announce that I have won the ‘open’ category for Young Science Communicator of 2018 with NRF-SAASTA! My entry below, named “Finding fish“, illustrates our environmental DNA research through cartoon! This exciting work is being carried out in the von der Heyden lab at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in collaboration with the Molecular Ecology…

Celebrating #worldelephantday

It’s world elephant day today, and I’ve just returned from Tsavo East national park, Kenya. This park is home to the largest group of elephants in Kenya, with over 12,500 individuals, representing around one third of all elephants in the country. It was breathtaking to see these animals. We saw them at the watering hole,…

How does mangrove carbon offset work?

  Coastal livelihood and mangroves Coastal villages often heavily rely on fishing for livelihood, and also often have houses and buildings close to the shore. Areas of coast with mangrove forests benefit from the mangroves supporting large fisheries, and also protecting the shoreline from erosion and sedimentation. Although these benefits are significant to the local…

Shimba hills nature reserve

It was an early morning to begin our safari day, and I always enjoy watching the moon fade as the sky goes from starry black to blue. The stars here are incredibly bright and in the daytime the sky is so, so blue that I could stare up there all day and night. We arrived…

Chapati the cat

Today we did do work (I promise!), but we also found an abandoned cat. We fed it milk and it escalated, and it is now named chapati…!

Monkey take over

Much to my excitement, our dinner hut was full of monkeys when we came back for lunch! They scarpered as soon as we walked in (unfortunately… as I was in awe!). They were climbing all over the surrounding trees and roofs, and stared at us whilst we ate! It looks like the black-faced vervet monkey…

Bottlenose Dolphins off Holyhead, UK!

On a lucky boat survey we came across a huge pod of bottlenose dolphins, and it was incredible! Luckily I had my gopro and Jon our skipper had a huge pole. Pole + gopro = exciting video times! See my video below, or read this article that the newspaper wrote about our boat trip.

Sea urchin respirometry

I have been working out how much my sea urchins are using up oxygen using closed chamber respirometry jars. The amount of oxygen consumed by the urchins is an indicator of metabolism, and possibly stress. To measure the oxygen content of the seawater in the jar, I can place a fiber optic cable onto the…

Heart Shaped Predator

Originally posted on The Natural History of Crustaceans:
Phyllolithodes papillosus Brandt, 1848 Apart from the obvious delicacy and beauty of this specimen, which overwhelmed me when I first saw it, it was actually the ‘u’ shaped depression in the middle of the dorsal side of this specimen that caught my eye. It looks spectacular and,…

Singing Ghost Crabs

This was going to be coming up later in the week, but couldn’t wait to share it once I read its label. The original beholder has noted that this cool crab used differently surfaced ridges to produce different tones of sound. Makes you wonder what they’re saying to eachother behind our backs! Ocypoda refers to…