27 October 2012

New friends (of a kind...)

I’m making new friends! They’re a bit small, and they’re dead, but it’s nice to meet them. The Norfolk sediments are yielding all sorts of little critters I had never met before. They’re older than any other forams I have studied, and they are also mid-latitude marine dwellers, which is new. I so far had only done tropical deep-sea, Arctic shallow sea, and mid-latitude intertidal beasties.

It is a hassle to get introduced; the university surely doesn’t have the likes of these in the (very small) reference collection. And it doesn’t have that many books that contain a who’s who of the foraminiferal world. I basically rely on documentation I have brought from Norway, which is digital. So I spend quite some of my time first drawing the bugs in the lab, and then scrolling through the documentation in my office, looking for something familiar. And if I have a suspicion of whom I am faced with, I can try to verify this with the Ellis and Messina encyclopaedia, which one of geology’s retired professors has; it’s not easy to access, though, as the gentleman isn’t too eager to answer e-mails, and I can’t just pop by his office as it is located in a corridor I don’t have access to. So it’s not necessarily straightforward, but hey, building a friendship takes time...

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