Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A week of microfossil madness!

Last week I worked with three volunteers, University of Leicester undergraduates Chris Stocker and Rowan Dejardin, and Daniel Downs from the Prince’s Trust. We had a busy and productive week, sieving specimens and picking for microfossils, photographing rock samples, drawing specimens, splitting rocks and checking for macrofossils. We also imaged specimens on the SEM and light photography set-ups.

Chris and Rowan are starting their 4th year at the University of Leicester and both are about to start their research project work on microfossils later this summer. Daniel will start a geology degree next year and is a keen mineral and fossil amateur collector. All were very enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers: thank you for such a fantastic week!

The microfossil picking team hard at work in the lab.
Some of the microfossils (imaged on the SEM): a plant fragment and a fish tooth plate.

This week I am continuing to work with Daniel, plus another keen volunteer, Amrie. We are finding many more exciting microfossils!

Until next time

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thank you to my volunteers Saneeca and Bradley

Last week I worked with volunteers Saneeca Jain and Bradley Silver from Bosworth Academy, Leicestershire. The volunteers came here on school work experience placement, and have been doing a range of geological activities. For the past three days they have been helping me with the essential but time consuming work of cataloguing samples.

They have photographed over 150 samples, to provide a complete record of sample colour, sedimentary structures and fossils. This will be integrated into other datasets such as the palynology and micropalaeontology studies, and used to compare with the borehole rocks. Saneeca and Bradley sieved samples ready for micropalaeontology picking next week, and polished rock samples that had particularly interesting features. Then they scanned the rock surface so we have a digital record. Invaluable work for the TW:eed project and an introduction to geology for two potential future scientists!


Left: Saneeca holding a rock specimen, in front of the sample store. Right: Polished and scanned rock surface of a nodule containing abundant plant material.

Thank you for all your hard work!

Until next time