It´s July already, can you believe it?
It was such a great experience, totally recommended, to be part of the CoCoast training at Limeklins. And it was all thanks to Inner Forth Landscape, collaborating on the CoCoast training and giving us a room to be.
Everything starts with a talk, guiding you to an overview on Marine Science and the importance of seaweeds. After that, you start an indoor seaweed ID. The organiser had small tanks with different seaweeds, different colours and sizes, plus several ID Guides so we could give it a goal. From my point of view, a very exited part was the opportunity I had helping the organiser, answering questions and helping people going through the guides.
Thinking about my project…
I spend most part of the month thinking about what I am going to do with my own project while I am a trainee. It will be based in two of the less well known shores in Edinburgh, the first one will be at Joppa, and after that Granton. I will run one BioBlitz on each one, finding out more about coastal lichens and seaweeds in Edinburgh. Everyone is welcome to participate, and I would love to see a lot of people interested in the Edinburgh shoreline. I will post a link to the events as soon as I can. I have been busy contacting people and finding volunteers.
What about Joppa?
Joppa is a beautiful and very interesting rocky shore, and it´s a geological site of interest. One of the fist scientist interested on seaweeds at Joppa was George Traill, he was a botanist of the 19th century, working on marine algae at the Firth of Forth. Some of his specimens are still in the RBGE Herbarium, and I will be the lucky one working with them. Helped with a nice low tide, I went out with my list of species for the BioBlitz, to check how good could it be to explain the public the importance of rocky shore conservation, and how can they, on their own, find out how healthy their shore is.
Joppa had a domestic sewage treatment pipe, pouring into the sea, something that ended in several environmental problems in the past. Nowadays, a domestic sewage treatment plant is turn sewage and waste into cleaner, more environmentally friendly effluent, helping to reduce pollution in the area. During my project, I hope seaweeds can confirm the recovery on this rocky shore, as some of them are indicators of water quality, and we can finally look to a well managed source of pollution, as well as future conservation plans for the area (or at least I hope someone will support me on the conservation of the Edinburgh shoreline!)
Fun fact! If you visit Joppa during low tide, you can be as lucky as I was and find some great kelp! Some kelps in Scotland can rich lengths of 3m! You need to go to the Highlands to see something that big, but that doesn’t mean the ones in Edinburgh are less interesting! I personally love kelps, they create forests under the water, and they are the house of several other seaweeds and animals, that can only survive thanks to the shelter kelp forest creates.
Treasures of the herbarium
If you like plants, and you like history, an herbarium is your place. Such an amazing collection of specimens they have! I was trained in how to work with specimens and store them, and also how to access to the online dataset. I also got my own box, where I can keep the specimens I am interested in, so I can build a picture of what was found in Joppa and Granton.
These two pictures represent (a) The locations I am looking for, Caroline Park is in Granton, and it was the first specimen I found from the 19th century for that area! And you may think…can the specimens be well preserved for so long? The answer is YES! (b) The second pictures is the proof, it´s Irish moss, found at Joppa in 1882.
That´s all for July!
And for me…It´s my last post till I’m back from my summer holidays! Hope you have a lovely August!