This week our lab is teeming with activity as twelve researchers goes to work on our polychaete material, focusing mainly on that which has been collected by the MAREANO program.
Worm work in progress!
Photos by Andy Mackie (SEM photograph by K. Kongshavn)
As mentioned previously, the material collected by MAREANO gets split into size based fractions, which then receive different treatments. As far as the polychaetes go, MAREANO carries out routine identification on what is collected by grab (1 mm) and beam trawl (5 mm), all of which has been fixed in formalin (until this year, where it was begun fixing half of the beam trawl in ethanol). Thus we already have some idea of what to expect to find in the material.
At the Invertebrate Collections we have processed a lot of bulk samples from the fractions that MAREANO does not utilize, and lately we have especially focused on the Ethanol fixed material, as this can be used for genetic work.
This workshop is part of the Polychaete diversity in the Norwegian sea (PolyNor) project. This project aim to explore the diversity of polychaetes in the Nordic seas;
The Norwegian Sea holds a diverse fauna of polychaete worms, more diverse than previously anticipated. Recent work has discovered several new species and species described in the old literature but not seen since their description, has been rediscovered. Material from new samples will be targeted to discover the true diversity of polychaetes in the Norwegian Sea.
During the workshop we will work on some of the groups with especially tricky taxonomy, prioritizing the identifying of specimens fixed in ethanol, and select individuals that are especially suited for genetic work. And of course we will also discuss current topics, find and reconnect with collaborators, drink an unholy amount of coffee, and learn some new things!