OPAL scientist's blog

I'm on BBC online!

Last Tuesday I was filmed by a lovely lady called Becky from the BBC.  We had a great day out at Silwood Park (the Imperial College campus in Ascot) bug hunting, and Becky filmed me as I went along looking under logs, in the trees and in fallen leaves for all the bugs we could find.

And here's the result - this video went up on the BBC online website this morning...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15197882 

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Science Uncovered

Tonight at the Natural History Museum, over 300 scientists will be in the galleries just waiting to discuss their day to day jobs, museum specimens and some of the biggest questions in science with you.  All over a glass of wine or two!  Sound good?  Well come along from 16:00 - 23:00 for a relaxing evening and the chance to meet / question / challenge our scientists.  There are behind the scenes tours, cocktail bars and loads of other displays and activities.  All this is part of Science Uncovered, an EU

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What a difference a warm day makes

by Ed Tripp, Nottingham

Temperature affects plant growth

The heather that I placed in sand in May has been growing well ever since.

The most striking thing is the difference in size of the plants between the different temperatures. The plants grown in the highest temperature are nearly twice the size of those grown in the coldest temperature (see pictures).

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Bugs Count!

The new OPAL survey, Bugs Count, is proving to be very popular. We've just had over 200,000 bug sightings to our website, which is a great start! A lot of teachers, both formal and informal, are using the surveys to encourage their students to look closer at the natural world around them.

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Addressing Climate Change

by Ed Tripp, University of Nottingham

Climate Change and Heathland

Labelled soil samplesSo all the dirt collecting has been done. It took two months and a good few thousand miles to get there, but I finally collected the three hundred soil samples that I needed. I can now work in the lab to find out what my data is showing about enzymes in heathland soils, and how this might be affecting heathland plants.

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Guest blog from Kevin: Brilliant bees

Bees are amazing little insects and are totally fascinating to watch go about their daily routines. Last week in the glorious sunshine I saw lots of little Mining Bees feeding up on the wonderfully bright yellow Dandelions at Upton Country Park. There are lots of opportunities for bees to nest here in the exposed soil on the embankments. I even found a Bee which is thought not to be very common in Yorkshire. This little Bee is possibly making a comeback appearance after hiding away for lots of years….so watch this space!

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