Carna Research Station, County Galway

Siobhan Vye

School of Biological Sciences


Carna Research Station, County Galway
The grant enabled me to travel to Connemara, Co. Galway and run an experiment in rock pools on a shore near the Carna Research Station. The experiment manipulated nutrient enrichment and the presence of an invasive sea weed (Sargassum muticum), with the aim of identifying the effects on biodiversity. Data collected from this experiment will give an important insight into the cumulative effects of multiple stressors and will form the final part of my PhD project.

During the week-long trip, a colleague and I travelled to the field site and set up the experiment. This included identifying suitable rock pools, measuring the diversity of the rock pools and quantifying the abundance of the invasive seaweed. We spent 6 – 7 hours on the shore each day, from around 6am until mid-afternoon. The early mornings and long hours were more than made up for by some lovely Irish spring sunshine. Highlights of the trip include the picturesque setting and the amazingly colourful algal diversity within the rock pools! Unfortunately, the well-known Irish rain did make an appearance on the last day, but it wouldn’t be field work in Ireland without it! In addition, the trip provided an opportunity to liaise with the very welcoming staff and academics at Carna Research Station, NUI Galway. This has allowed me to forge links with members of the international marine research community.

My thanks go to the Challenger Society for facilitating a productive and rewarding trip.

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