Tuesday, 29 January 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

The beautiful couple above are my best friend Dienece and her soon-to-be-husband, Scott.

I am flying up to Melbourne this afternoon so that I can be with Dienece to help out with all the last minute wedding preparations and to be at the wedding on Saturday.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

What has Emma been doing?...

Well, mostly I've been working with the fresh water ecology team in the school of zoology at uni. I have been helping out Lavi, an honours student and Anne, a phd student. I have been spending quite a lot of time at my microscope looking at bugs- mostly sorting water samples into plant matter and creepy crawlies.

I have also spent quite a large amount of time helping Lavi set up a feeding preference study where 30 amphipods and 30 cadisflies are given a choice of four different types of leaves very carefully weighed before and after to see how much of each they ate. The experiment has run for a week (see photo below) and was dismantled today so we should have the results soon-ish.

I have also been out into the field twice (once with Lavi, once with Anne). With Lavi I helped collect the caddis flies and amphipods for the feeding trial at Strickland Falls. I spent all day that day wading in the stream catching things. With Anne I travelled up to Tooms Lake to her experimental site on Tooms River. The main point of the trip was to put some mesh bags of cotton into the river and run a capture-mark-recapture experiment with leaves.

The point of the bags of cotton is that they are a standard measure of decomposition used in experiments all over the world. Cotton of a particular density is of a known tensile strength- you put it in the river then re-collect it in 6 weeks and test the tensile strength as a measure of the amount of decomposition that occurs in a particular river.

The point of the capture-mark- recapture experiment is to see if leaves that fall in the stream stay in the stream and get eaten or if they flow down the river.

This is the net across the river to catch the leaves that flow down the river.
This is Anne in her very beautiful waders.
These are our beautiful bright recapture leaves.
We put 80 pink and yellow leaves into the river and 40 of them ended up in our net. The other 40 got stuck in tree branches in the water. It is very useful information for Anne's thesis, and it was also quite a lot of fun. It was a lot like "Pooh sticks."

Anyway, I have finally gotten around to posting up some pictures so you should all be happy.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

I've lost Anne...

I've lost the phd student I'm working with, Anne, and I need to talk to her before I can go on with the work I am meant to be doing so I have a few minutes before she gets back.

I really want to up load some photos of the work I've been doing and update you all on quite a bit of stuff so hopefully I will find time to do that tonight sometime.


Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Just a quick note...

This is just a quick note to say that I have FINALLY started working at uni on my summer research scholarship. My supervisor finally got back from his annual leave and asked me to go in to uni for a meeting yesterday so I went in and we went through all the OH & S stuff.

I have to go in to uni this morning to actually start working. Apparently, I am going to be spending most of the day ankle deep in a stream catching creepy crawlies with an honours student for her research on feeding preferences of freshwater macro invertebrates.

The creepy crawlies I'm mostly going to be working with look like this:

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

I made it back to Hobart...

WARNING: The following is actually very boring. I don't know why but apparently I don't seem to be able to write in a very interesting way this morning (maybe the problem is that it is too early in the morning). Either way, you have my permission to skip the reading part if you find it too boring and just look at the pictures.

As most of you know my plans to go back to my flat in Hobart kept getting delayed because I wasn't very well. I was starting to get really stressed about things down in Hobart, though because I hadn't really planned on leaving things for that long. I have "pay as you go"electricity and I knew that I hadn't left enough money on it for the amount of time I was away so the power would be off and the fridge defrosted. I was also worried about the poor fish starving to death.

When I got back things weren't as bad as I thought they would be. Yes, the power was off and the fridge had defrosted, but it wasn't as bad to clean up as I thought it would be. The fish were alive and well- just hungry. All the plants survived too, and the sunflowers finally flowered. It was a really nice surprise to walk up to my flat and see several big, beautiful sunflowers. Thats actually the reason I'm posting- to show off my beautiful sunflowers. I have wanted to grow sunflowers for a very long time, but this is the first time I have actually done it- its been really fun.

Monday, 7 January 2008

New Year's Photos

Here are the photos that I promised I would up-load.

This is Martha (and baby K) enjoying the sparklers at midnight

And Pastor Terreth trying to eat one!
The much awaited New Year's Day cricket game.

Little John's turn in the crease.

My favourite action shot- you can even see the ball mid-flight.

All the munchkins enjoying each other's company- and the soccer ball's

John telling Pastor Terry something very important.

A great shot of Pastor Terry and his little offsider (or was it John and his offsider)

The Picnic

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Another Post

I was just getting really annoyed with some friends of mine who do not update their blog often enough when I realized that its been a while since I updated mine too.

I am still staying at my parent's place, but I plan to go back down to Hobart on Friday.
As most of you allready know the reason why I'm at my parent's is that I have not been very well. The good news is that my chest infection seems to be completely gone now, although my asthma is still not very under control. I thought it was, but waking up in the middle of the night again not able to breathe last night reminded me that I could be wrong about that. I'm doing much better than I was, though, and am now starting to come down of the ridiculous amount of drugs I've been on for the last week.

Yesterday I got a chance to meet up with my best friend Dienece who was in the state with her parents for a couple of days. It was really good to see her and just to check out all the places we used to haunt in Launceston. It was exactly one month to go to the wedding yesterday so its getting pretty exciting.

In other news, I am currently waiting for my supervisor to come back from his annual leave to find out some more details on my summer research scholarship. I'm glad that I've had a chance to try and get well before having to start the work, but I would like to know some more details on what the work actually entails so I'm starting to get a little impatient.

We had a really good New Years Eve with Pastor Terry, Martha, and Martin over at our place and then a Church BBQ on New Years Day. I've got some great photos of the BBQ that I will post a bit later.

Anyway, I'd better go again now.