University of Glasgow student Claire Jones joined us last month after being awarded a Vacation Scholarship by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. After coming to the end of the third year of a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology, Claire is undertaking a summer of research with the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) before going on to complete the final year in September. The project is titled ‘Analysis of the diversity of protozoan communities found on the surface of freshwater crustaceans from streams of different qualities across the Clyde catchment’ and is supervised by Dr Willie Yeomans (Catchment Manager, CRF).
Claire is working alongside Margaret Mullin, Integrated Microscopy Technician in the University’s School of Life Sciences. She is using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to investigate protozoan communities living on the surface of crustaceans including water hoglouse and freshwater shrimp. The SEM produces high resolution images from which the number of protozoan individuals and of taxa on the host crustaceans can be counted. The project is a preliminary assessment of the applicability of this methodology in environmental monitoring. David McColl, the CRF’s Fishery Management Planner, took Claire to collect samples from selection of our routine monitoring sites in June, including “clean” and “dirty” streams. Claire has since processed the samples and has started producing some fantastic SEM images, a selection of which are shown below. We are looking forward to the results of the study in August.