Name: Akanbi Bamikole Williams
Home Institution: Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research
What do you work with at home? I am a Principal Research Officer at my home institution with special interest in fish biology, fisheries management and benthic ecology. Presently working on marine fauna diversity in Nigeria.
What are you working on here? I have been working on taxonomic details of different families of polychaetes and some other animal groups (Molluscs and Crustatceans). I am also going through the process of preparing samples for DNA Barcoding – specimen selection, filling-in the various data sheets, taking photographs of specimens, tissues extraction and the final plate preparation. It’s been a wonderful experience.
Bristle worms from the family Maldanidae. One of the techniques used for separating different species is to stain the animals with colour and use the patterning that results as a morphological character
Name: Trond R. Oskars
Home institution: University Museum of Bergen, Norway (blog here)
What do you work with at home?
Samples, big and small
I have recently been working on preparing material for the workshop by sorting benthic samples from the West-African coast, paying particular attention to the Bivalvia (clams, oysters, cockles etc.) and the Ophistobranchs (a group of gastropods/snails), as these are some of the focus groups for the workshop. I defined the specimens to morphospecies and/or genus, to ease the work for the experts who will be working on identifying them to species. I am also preparing papers on Cephalaspidea and Philinidae (snails) from my master thesis work, and preparing to start my Ph.D.
Jar upon jar upon jar of molluscs
What are you working on here?
On the workshop I have been nominated as the “gastropod team”. The previous workshop got a lot of nice results on the gastropods, and it was decided to continue the work this year. My task is to organize the species by family, and pick suitable specimens from target families that we wish to do DNA barcoding on, prepare the barcoding samples, and keep the database up to date.
Most of our participants arrived over the course of the weekend, and work is already well under way. The 2014 workshop will focus on the Mollusca – especially the bivalves – and our ever-present polychaetes, from both the GCLME and the CCLME.
Like last year, we are based at the field station of the University of Bergen, which is a great venue for workshops.
Our field station at Espegrend
Discussions in the lab
Working on the bivalves
We have – amongst our in total 15 participants – no less than nine nationalities representing nine different institutions present!
Part of “Team Mollusca”
Many of us also participated in last years workshop, and it’s been very nice to have a reunion with that lovely crowd!
Some of last year’s participants had other obligations and were unfortunately unable to attend. We do have some new additions as well, and they are very welcome. As the pictures show, work is already well under way, we will get back to the strategies and results of the work in coming blog posts.
We are generation a lot of data to keep track of
The mollusca work-group identified more than 200 species of snails (Gastropoda) in the material. They took 1763 digital images and prepared 606 lots for the catalogued museum collection. At present, one sample plate has been prepared for DNA-barcoding.