Magic Seaweed

Long time no post in these strange times. Lots of upheaval with closed labs and online teaching preparations, which has meant more work to do in less time (half my time was spent homeschooling). This post has nothing to do with ongoing research, but it is about biology and Cornwall. (Specifically, it is about marine biology, and marine sciences are a strong focus of the University of Exeter.) This is a photo I made in spring snorkeling here in Falmouth that won the joint top prize in the annual Hilda Canter-Lund Photo competition organised by the British Phycological Society. This award was established in recognition of Hilda Canter-Lund, whose photomicrographs of freshwater algae combined high technical and aesthetic qualities whilst still capturing the quintessence of the organisms she was studying. The caption:

Carpodesmia tamariscifolia (Bushy Rainbow Wrack) framed by Himanthalia elongata (Thong  Weed) in a rockpool in Falmouth, Cornwall, U.K.

I took this photo of this stunningly beautiful iridescent Rainbow Wrack ( spring 2020 at a low tide when this rockpool was no more than a meter deep. This species is a perennial that forms a home to many animals, from sponges to tunicates, and is often used by the Bull Huss to attach its egg cases to. Many seaweed species also grow epiphytically on Bushy Rainbow Wrack, such as the invasive red species Bonnemaisonia hamifera on this photo. Photo taken using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with an 8mm fisheye lens and with a single automatic strobe.

For more underwaterphotos see my nerd blog ‘An Bollenessor‘ (which means ‘The Rockpoolhunter’ in the Cornish language).

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