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Sources & Sinks: A Tale of Coastal Biogeochemistry - BONUS COCOA

Insights into the biogeochemistry work of the COCOA project: from the water column to the sediment, from the field to the lab. Secrets of the coastal filter and a life in aquatic sciences.
19.06.2015 19:54

Killing in the name of

Dana Hellemann

Being a marine biologist often also includes a certain amount of scientific killing. This can be intentional, e.g. to study the condition of a certain species (e.g. fish or benthic species) or unintentional, when the organisms are simply at the wrong time on the wrong spot.

In marine biogeochemistry we usually deal with the unintentional killing, for instance having zooplankton in a water sample, which will finally end up on a filter. The intention here might be argued, as zooplankton plays an essential role in the ocean ecosystem and the element cycling, and therefore, we do want them for analyses on our filters....however, a true case of simply bad luck in the name of science happened at my last sampling in the Tvärminne archipelago, when I retrieved a sub-core sample looking like that:

saduria_1

 

..including half of a Saduria sp. which usually looks like that (picture by Ania Dabrowska):

saduria_2

Being vegetarian with a heart for everything living I felt quite sorry (and of course I did not like to have it in my sample), which was made worse by realizing the omnipresence of the Saduria at Tvärminne Zoological Station:

saduria_3saduria_4saduria_5

Expressed with Gösses words: “You killed our mascot!” Jepp, truly sorry.


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