Friday, 5 July 2013

June Fieldwork Week – New Discoveries!

Last week the TW:eed team met up in the Scottish Borders for a week of fieldwork. We had some amazing discoveries! New tetrapod and lungfish sites were discovered in the area, and existing sites provided new and very rare fossil material!

I was working on the sedimentology of the area, with a bit of invertebrate and micro palaeontology identification where we found ostracods, bivalves and Spinicaudata. It was wonderful to re-visit the sites I was working at in the autumn and check sections, talk through ideas with colleagues, and generally enjoy the long days of working without being cold and wet!

But, as you can expect from Scotland (and the Borders) the weather wasn’t always dry! Below you can see Professor John Marshall (palynologist) and Ket Smithson (vertebrate palaeontologist) on one of the wet days we had. We spent that day sampling in a very tidal area which was only accessible at the lowest tides, but was also completely covered in seaweed. Wellington boots and head to toe waterproofs were essential!

All 12 of the TW:eed team, plus supporters, came to our team meeting on the Tuesday, where we all presented an update on the progress of our work. It was fantastic to find out about what other people in the team have been working on, and to see how all the separate parts of the project fit together to give a rounded picture of life in the tetrapod’s world. To give you an idea of what these different parts are, these are the range of projects that people in the team are working on: vertebrate palaeontology of tetrapods, rhizodonts, lungfish and actinopterigians, micropalaeontology, invertebrate palaeontology, palaeobotany, borehole petrophysics and sedimentology, field section sedimentology, palaeosols, geochemistry and palynology. Wow! This is why we have a consortium project!
TW:eed team group photo, with (from left to right) me, Ket Smithson, Stig Walsh, Andy Ross, Maggie Wood, Tim Smithson, Jenny Clack, Rob Clack, Dave Millward, Nick Fraser, Mike Browne, Sarah Davies, Tim Kearsey and John Marshall. Janet Sherwin kindly took the photo. Dave Millward and Mike Brown are proudly holding up the sedimentary log of the borehole we recently drilled.

For the next two weeks I am working with some volunteers on the micropalaeontology side of the project, so I will let you know what we find.

Until next time


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