- Centre: London
- Tutor: Eileen Cox and Elliot Schubert
- Date : Saturday 27 April
- Level: Beginners
- NON-RESIDENT: £40
This course will introduce participants to some of the diversity of microscopic plant life in freshwaters, including an illustrated lecture, sampling nearby ponds and streams in Bushy Park for algae, and then learning how to observe and identify them under the microscope.
Freshwater algae comprise a diverse assemblage of organisms that share the ability to photosynthesise and are therefore the key primary producers in freshwater ecosystems, at the base of aquatic food chains. Depending upon where they live in ponds and streams, freshwater algae exhibit different life forms; some are planktonic and float in the water, others attach to rocks and plants, and others are able to move over surfaces or within sediments.
An illustrated lecture will provide an overview of the diversity of life forms of freshwater algae, showing how their structure is linked to their life style. We will then sample some of the nearby ponds and streams, seeing how different sampling methods are used for different habitats. This will be followed by microscopy and the opportunity to examine the fresh samples and learn how to identify some of the commoner groups of algae.
Eileen Cox is Head of Postgraduate Studies at the Natural History Museum. Her research covers the diatom structure, development, ecology and taxonomy, but she also teaches general algal identification courses.
Elliot Shubert is Editor of Systematics and Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum. His research interests include freshwater green algae and cyanobacteria, and he also teaches freshwater algal identification.
This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken.
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