A Debate, a Dissection, & a Dinner

Hej hej!

More and more it looks like spring has come to stay here in Lund. The days are slowly getting longer, the birds have begun their early morning serenades, and I have managed to spend some time outside without having to dress is triple layers.

The final version of our poster.

The final version of our poster.

Since my last post, I have wrapped up the project regarding phenotypic plasticity. I began, and finished, another project regarding how climate change impacts aquatic biodiversity, and I am now working on a debate article addressing the multiple stressors affecting the health of the Baltic Sea and what should be done to ensure sustainability into the future. Writing this article has proved challenging, mainly because my partner and I have been given the position of fisheries experts. That is to say, we must produce an article, and prepare for a class debate, in which we will be defending fisheries’ rights to remain in the Baltic and continue fishing at roughly the same current levels. This is a hard argument to make considering the horrific affects many fishing industries have on aquatic environments (destruction of the benthos by trawls, by-catch, noise pollution, altering population dynamics, etc.). However, preparing for the debate has helped me realize some of the other issues preventing sustainable fisheries, such as the over-consumption of meat products by affluent nations, which is exasperated by the current consumer demand for low fish prices.  I am interested, albeit slightly nervous, to see how this all plays out during the debate. The other stakeholder groups that will be represented are Agriculture, Engineers, and the Green Movement.

Helsingør waterfront. Photo credit: tpsdave.

Helsingør waterfront. Photo credit: tpsdave

Outside of the classroom, I managed to take a ferry ride across Øresund into Denmark. I spent the day in the beautiful seaside town of Helsingør. To be exact, much of the day was actually spent at the town’s small aquarium where a white-beaked Dolphin was being dissected (note – this dolphin died in the wild and its carcass was found washed ashore). The dissection, as one can imagine, was rather graphic, but it was a great learning experience. Additionally, I was greatly surprised by the interest expressed by many of the children who where visiting the aquarium that day. As they gathered ever more closely to the dissection area (which was just an area of grass outback covered with a tarp) I thought for sure these kids would scatter once the veterinarian began his work. However, they proceeded to move so close that the organizers had to bring out chairs and tape to produce a makeshift barricade.

White-beaked dolphin.

White-beaked dolphin.

A final noteworthy event to mention from the past two weeks would have to be the lovely Valentine’s Day dinner I went to on the 14th. Now, I’m sure you’re imagining a romantic restaurant with couples at every seat, but it was actually a group event that took place in a friend’s kitchen. I think the size of the group fluctuated between 10-12 throughout the night. We ate, we sang, we danced, and we played charades. I’m normally quite indifferent to Valentine’s Day, but if it gives me the excuse to attend a party with the aforementioned items, then I must say that I’m looking forward to February 14th, 2015.

Yup, at 27 years old my mum still sends me Valentine's Day cards. I make fun of her for it, but secretly I'm very grateful.

Yup, although I’m 27 my mum still sends me Valentine’s Day cards. I make fun of her for it, but secretly I’m very grateful (thanks mum).

Until next time!


One thought on “A Debate, a Dissection, & a Dinner

  1. Hi, Abby! I just found your blog. Interesting subjects you are working on. You are never too old for valentines. Enjoy your studies and your time in Sweden.

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