Sunday, January 11, 2009

International Echinoderm Conference - Tasmania (Tuesday & Wednesday)

Tuesday - hmmm..... what happened tuesday, other than fighting with the computer to try and send files to Heather.... More talks. and the poster session in the evening. There is some really cool work going on with echinoderms.... now there are so many things I want to know about. Conferences really are a good way to get excited about work! And of course we ended the day at Salamanca. (well actually the day ended with wallabies on the lawn at the residence after Salamanca, the same as the previous day).

Wednesday - trip day. I was fortunate enough to be invited to join Tim, Kate and Jérome on their field work day. This is the furthest south I'll be for quite a while Recherche Bay (43o 30' S). While they went diving for brittle stars, I walked along the shore line. I was quite excited to see limpets and anenomes. Then I saw my first starfish! I managed to get it out from between the two rocks and took lots of pictures. It was a pretty purple. And then I put it back, still all excited and continued to explore. And I found another starfish and took lots of pictures, and a third one (more pictures), and then another, and another, and another.... I finally realized I couldn't take 10 pictures of each individual... (though I did try for a while). When they were finished their dive, we went to a place near Nine point marine reserve. and they went in for another dive. I took a nice walk along a path through the woods. Then when Kate came out of the water, she let me borrow her gear and Tim took me underwater and showed me lots of very cool creatures. Thank you very very much to both of them. By the time we got out of the water it was 7:30 pm.... diving days take a long time... and we still had to pick up starfish from another lady's house. So we went to her place and she had the table set for nine. You can't say no when the table is set. So we stayed for dinner, and it was a fantastic dinner. Her son had gone out and fished abalone. You just don't get fresher or more local than that. And then he took us out bandicoot spotting when it got dark. And we saw two of them. By the time we got back to the university it was 11:30pm (the only night we didn't go to Salamanca)

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