Thursday, 31 January 2013

Snorkelling at North Arm, 30/01/2012 (Alexandra)

Our sampling in East Falkland Island started rather successfully regarding the algal surveys and collections. Frithjof returned from the sea with more than 50 different species in less than 2 h! As it seems North Arm site is a hot spot for the Falklands’ seaweed biodiversity. It is remarkable that in such a an apparently degraded place the seaweeds still seem to have good habitat. North Arm is a small village in southern Lafonia the beach of which is used as a dump site; really an appalling sight: Domestic garbage from the settlement, car batteries, sheep carcasses and other unimaginable things pile up and are scattered around. You can find almost anything from old cars to plastic items and discarded cables on the beach.
 Snorkeling at North Arm

The tragicomic aspect of the operation was that Frithjof’s dry suit wasn’t so dry apparently… he came out completely soaked!!
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Later on a big night was waiting for us again, due to the huge number of samples which needed to be turned into herbarium specimens and keeping sub-samples in silicagel and CTAB buffer for genetic analysis. Our usual schedule for us is field work / sampling from 8am till 7pm and then working at the lab from 8pm till midnight or later. That’s the hard part of an expedition. Don’t think that we’re on holidays here!!
Preparing Herbarium specimens
Hard working

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