Category Archives: Mollusca

Participant snapshots – travel letter from Rudo

We are fortunate enough to have with us an expert on African bivalves, Dr. Rudo von Cosel from the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France. 

Rudo (centre) with two of  his workshop colleagues on "Team Mollusca; Lena and Sara

Rudo (centre) with two of his workshop colleagues on “Team Mollusca”; Lena and Sara

Below are his words on how he’s finding the Norwegian MIWA experience:

IMG_0246Here I am in the high and cold North, but the weather is not so bad here; after some windy days we have now bright sun which is visible to almost 23h in the evening. The train ride was fantastic. 2 nights and a day, always with the printout of my book under the arm! Indeed the book is a success, and everybody uses it, and the identification work progresses more rapidly thanks to it. However, the identifications are very much more difficult than thought because most samples are grab samples, and the small, very young and ultra juvenile species are much over-represented.

 

Rudo and Kouadio onboard the "Aurelia"

Rudo and Kouadio onboard the “Aurelia”

Yesterday we went out at sea with the station boat for sightseeing in the fjord around the marine station, the sea was like a lake which is exceptional!

The food is excellent, and the kitchen brigade consists of two of us and changes every day, whereas the people from the institute go shopping for the food. I am one of the first in the kitchen for doing the morning tea. After the breakfast we sit at the binocular until midday and after the lunch to 20h, of course with a coffee break.

We have treated 557 lots up to now but there remains still a lot to do until Saturday evening.P1000623

 

Norway is fantastic, and the colleagues are very very friendly and helpful; it is a real pleasure for me to be in a marine station after such a long time!

Now back to the binocular where some tricky Corbulidae and small Tellinids wait for me.

Participant snapshots – Williams

williams Name: Akanbi Bamikole Williams

Home Institution: Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

What do you work with at home? I am a Principal Research Officer at my home institution with special interest in fish biology, fisheries management and benthic ecology. Presently working on marine fauna diversity in Nigeria.

What are you working on here?  I have been working on taxonomic details of different families of polychaetes and some other animal groups (Molluscs and Crustatceans). I am also going through the process of preparing samples for DNA Barcoding – specimen selection, filling-in the various data sheets, taking photographs of specimens, tissues extraction and the final plate preparation. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Bristle worms from the family Maldanidae. Of of the techniques used for distinguishing the different species is to stain the animals with colours and use the patterning that results as a morphological character

Bristle worms from the family Maldanidae. One of the techniques used for separating different species is to stain the animals with colour  and use the patterning that results as a morphological character

Stained Maldanids

Stained Maldanids

Participant snapshots – Trond

IMG_0185

Name: Trond R. Oskars

Home institution: University Museum of Bergen, Norway (blog here)

What do you work with at home?

Samples, big and small

Samples, big and small

I have recently been working on preparing material for the workshop by sorting benthic samples from the West-African coast, paying particular attention to the Bivalvia (clams, oysters, cockles etc.) and the Ophistobranchs (a group of gastropods/snails), as these are some of the focus groups for the workshop.   I defined the specimens to morphospecies and/or genus, to ease the work for the experts who will be working on identifying them to species. I am also preparing papers on Cephalaspidea and Philinidae (snails) from my master thesis work, and preparing to start my Ph.D.

Jar upon jar upon jar of molluscs

Jar upon jar upon jar of molluscs

Creating some order

Organizing

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you working on here?IMG_0184

On the workshop I have been nominated as the “gastropod team”. The previous workshop got a lot of nice results on the gastropods, and it was decided to continue the work this year. My task is to organize the species by family, and pick suitable specimens from target families that we wish to do DNA barcoding on, prepare the barcoding samples, and keep the database up to date.

Aaand we’re off!

Most of our participants arrived over the course of the weekend, and work is already well under way. The 2014 workshop will focus on the Mollusca – especially the bivalves – and our ever-present polychaetes, from both the GCLME and the CCLME.

Like last year, we are based at the field station of the University of Bergen, which is a great venue for workshops.

Espegrend

Our field station at Espegrend

Discussions in the lab

Discussions in the lab

Working on the bivalves

Working on the bivalves

We have – amongst our in total 15 participants – no less than nine nationalities representing nine different institutions present!

Part of "Team Mollusca"

Part of “Team Mollusca”

Lab work

Labwork

Many of us also participated in last years workshop, and it’s been very nice to have a reunion with that lovely crowd!

 

Some of last year’s participants had other obligations and were unfortunately unable to attend. We do have some new additions as well, and they are very welcome. As the pictures show, work is already well under way, we will get back to the strategies and results of the work in coming blog posts.

We are generation a lot of data to keep track of

We are generation a lot of data to keep track of