In May I was in Nantes for my first ever SETAC EU conference. The conference kicked off with some traditional dancing and music which was very much like the bagpipes.
|Traditional dancing opened SETAC EU in Nantes plus loud pipes|
I was there because there was a special session on microplastics in the environment which was relevant to some work we're doing (read about our preparation for the experiment here) which I've learnt is testing the trojan horse or vector hypothesis, i.e. can plastics adsorb pollutants which are then passed on to what ever organism eats the plastic. A whole bunch of York people were there including:
|Jo Witton with her poster on pesticide heterogeneity|
|Mohd Firdaus Mohd Anuar with his poster on nanopesticides|
|Delegates looking at posters in Nantes|
In June I was at the Mineralogical Society Environmental Mineralogy Group Research in Progress meeting hosted by Bristol Earth Sciences department and admirably organised by Oliver Moore and colleagues. Lots of good student talks but here the most memorable thing was that the hotel the organisers recommended that I stay in had complementary sherry in the room. I'm not a sherry drinker so I didn't try it but it seemed rather odd to me, and I almost knocked the decanter over!
|Free sherry in all rooms at the Berkeley Square hotel, Bristol|
|Jonathan Leake and Gareth recording|
|A pink Frozen gazebo - hi tech field gear|
|The infiltrometer below the gazebo|
|A slightly pixilated aestivating earthworm. They create a void, line it with mucus and then coil up and wait for moister conditions.|
|This is one of the pasture fields. You can see it is more overgrown than on previous sampling trips (December 2015)|
The crops strips have grown as well.
|Martin digging pits in a crop strip whilst Josh and Miranda sort soil. You can see how the crop strips are well developed compared to in December 2015.|
|Jamal, Josh, Martin and Miranda sorting through soil next to a crop strip|
The full arable fields posed a more entertaining prospect for digging pits....
|Jamal, Miranda and Martin deciding where to sample in an arable field. You can see the crops are far better developed than in October last year.|
Where as the full grown hedge was less fun....
|Jamal digging a pit in the hedge for sampling|
Despite the hot weather and baked soil it still managed to rain a bit so there was also sampling in the Diary building (which is where the hammer was used - no squashed earthworms though!).
|Sorting through soil in the Diary building during a rain storm|