Gears have shifted once again here in Lund. I finished my Aquatic Ecology class on a high note and have now begun Water Management. Why a high note? Well, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I was rather nervous about effectively being able to gain the attention of my fellow students for my 20 minute long seagrass presentation. After completing the presentation I was relieved because (1) it was over, and (2) I was happy with my performance. Presentations took place in the morning, while individual feedback was given in the afternoon. It was great to receive some constructive criticism from my professor, so that I know where my current strengths and weaknesses lay. Additionally, everyone in class briefly wrote anonymous reviews for each presentation. During the afternoon feedback session I received all of these reviews to look at on my own time. These comments turned out to be more funny than constructive, but definitely my favourite was “you did a great job in making a seemingly boring topic interesting”. To this I say check and mate.
Not much to report yet regarding Water Management. I was happy to learn that the main professor for this class just happened to be my professor way back in September for Marine Ecology. This professor always has a good story to tell, one of the more memorable ones involved a conference where he was one of the keynote speakers. I should preface this by telling you that his areas of expertise are in the aquatic microbial food web, phytoplankton ecology, and plankton community structure (emphasis on trophic interactions). At this conference, he wanted to discuss the topic of bioluminescence in plankton. And of course, is there any better way to generate interest in this topic then by constructing a makeshift lightsaber and filling it with a mixture of bioluminescent plankton and seawater? I thought not.
As for the great outdoors, well I’ve managed to fit in two hikes in the past two weeks. The first hike took place in Söderåsen National Park and involved a lot of campfire food. To be fair, I think we ate more than we hiked, so perhaps I should change my memory classification of this event from hike to wilderness picnic. With the campfire going, we managed to cook up some grilled cheese sandwiches, reheat some pizza, bake several bananas filled with chocolate, and toast some cinnamon campfire bread, all the while enjoying some deliciously hand crafted Portuguese custard tarts.
The second hike took place this past Sunday. A small group of us took a train, followed by a bus, connecting us to a ferry, which allowed us to reach a small Swedish island known as Ven. Originally the plan was to rent tandem bicycles, however we were slightly early in the season for this. That is, none of the bike rental shops were open. However, with the island only having an 11km perimeter, walking was a great alternative. It ended up being a great day filled with the superb company of new friends. The sky was clear, the wind was low, and the temperature was ~14°C. I even managed to get small sunburn, something I take as a clear indication that summer is coming (sorry House Stark, winter had its chance).
Until next time,