Thursday, 10 October 2013

Today Ilkley, tomorrow the world!

or more accurately, yesterday Ilkley, on Sunday North Yorkshire.

Yesterday evening I gave a talk "Metal munching earthworms - Evolution in action" at the Wharfdale Naturalists Society who meet in Ilkley. A great night, good crowd, interesting questions. The highlight of my evening was when a young boy asked me for my autograph!

Then today I've just finished recording a short interview with BBC Radio York's Paul Hudson. it will be broadcast this Sunday at 1200 and will be part of a programme on climate change. We were chatting about the palaeoclimate work we're doing with earthworm poo (see previous blog).
The glamorous location of BBC Radio York

The recoding studio with BBC Radio York's own Paul Hudson

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Earthworms rule

Much excitement today in my very small corner of the virtual world. Apparently our paper on earthworm calcite balls is the most downloaded paper from Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta over the last 90 days.

In the mean time we have had another project start. This is a BESS (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) funded project from the NERC (Natural Environment Research Council). Working with Paul Eggleton at the Natural History Museum and Ron Corstanje at Cranfield University we'll be investigating controls on the biodiversity of earthworms in pasture systems to see whether modern agricultural techniques threaten our earthworm biodiversity (and all the good things that they do for soils) or not. David Jones at the Natural History Museum will be leading the earthworm identification end of the project and Jo Witton will be working in York analysing all the soil samples (800 hundred of them).

Jo, practising our method for determining microbial activity in soil samples.