Letters from the Lakes group - Winter 2018

In this update from the CEH Lake Ecosystems Group, I’m taking a look back at some of our achievements during 2018...

Over the course of the year, the Group has continued to work on issues that are relevant to the ecological community, those charged with ecosystem management, and wider society, such as drinking water quality, potentially harmful algal blooms (HABs), catchment land management, impacts of weather and climate upon lake ecosystems, and the value of freshwater ecosystems and species to society. It has definitely been a busy year!

Freshwater futures (aka lake ecology for Key Stages 1 and 2)

For British Science Week 2016 (11-20 March) I was invited to visit a local school (Quernmore Primary School) to talk to the children about my job as a scientist, what it means and what I do at work. I came along after a succession of other visitors who had enthused the children about space science and the fascinating (and gruesome) habits of parasites of various sorts.

The Force Awakens for Cumbrian Lakes monitoring

Excitement is growing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opening on 17 December 2015 in the UK), but it’s not just fans of the space opera saga looking forward to Episode VII's appearance on the big screen. Sharp-eyed viewers of the movie trailers may have noticed some familiar scenery - indeed scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology’s Lake Ecosystems Group are more familiar than most with some of the locations on show!

Plankton - diverse and fascinating wildlife

Our freshwater ecologists find all sorts of amazing wildlife when sampling in lakes and rivers, including microscopic plants, tiny grazers and predators, and species that appear to blur the boundary between plants and animals (are they plants that can eat and swim, or animals that photosynthesise?). You will only see many of these fascinating creatures under the microscope. Changes in the abundance and diversity of these animals tell us how lake ecosystems function and can also indicate the quality of the water.

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