Last week I was lucky enough to have two volunteers working with me for the entire week!
We had a busy week processing samples for microfossils. We sieved rock pieces through different sized sieves, dried the residues, and examined them under a binocular microscope. We picked out any fossils present and identified plant fragments, charcoal, fish and bone fragments. By noting the number of fossils present per gram of sediment sieved we are able to quantify the different fossil components and thus find out more information about the animal and plants that were present at that particular time.
The volunteers and I picking microfossils, with Tom Worthington (left) and Deborah Fish (right). See my blog post from 24th September 2012 ‘from mud to microfossils’ for more details.
Volunteer Deborah Fish using the SEM to examine microfossils, see my post from 3rd April 2013 ‘how science works: the scanning electron microscope’ for more details.
I really enjoyed the getting some extra help (more samples done!) and training up the students in micropalaeontology research methods. The next volunteers week will be this summer. Any students looking for microfossil or sedimentology research work experience do contact me!
Until next time