Like you must have noticed, I’ve moved the Blog of my Phd project to Penyu.nl! “Penyu” is off course ‘Sea Turtle’ in Bahasa Indonesia and I’m more flexible to do things with the weblog. Please change it in your Favourites or RSS subscriptions.
So what happened after my last blogs where I showed you pictures of my fieldwork in Kalimantan? For 3 months I was hiding behind high piles of samples in the laboratory of my University back in the Nijmegen, together with Laura. We analyzed soil and surface water for Ammonium, Phospate, Potassium, Sodium, Cloride, in the autoanalyser. And also we analysed Nitrate, which required a specific set-up with a Cadmium column as a reductor, which we first had to build ourselves. Furthermore we analysed Carbon:Nitrate ratios including stabile isotope ratio’s of dryed seagrass plants, to do this we had to shred the seperate plant parts into fine powder and fold 1500 samples into thin cups to balls of 1-1mm. We weighed biomass of all samples and made extracted elements from the dryed seagrass material by threating them with acid in the microwaveoven. Later we analyzed in the ICP spectometer what elements (including phosphate) were present in this extraction to check what the plants (-parts) took up from the water and soil. So combining this analysis we can now also compare C:N:P ratio’s. Many thank to Jelle Eygensteyn (Technician on the G.I.) for all the help with the analysis! Besides this, Madelon and I are also trying to calculate how many Green turtles the seagrass field could feed. First results look very promissing!
The last week of December I also followed a course in Basic Statistics (highly recommended) in Wageningen. So this year I can start with the analysis of all the data that I gathered in 2008 during my first fieldperiod. And now it is time to test the hypothesis, see if my experiments worked, and to make new plans for next fieldvisit coming August.