Excerpt from the Journal of an MSc Student


MSc Marine Biology Fieldcourse to the University Marine Biological Station Millport, Scotland

2nd March to 7th March 2013

Day 5:

We have been on the island of Millport for 5 days. The locals have accepted us as one of their own, and we have been learning their ways. Life on the island requires a lot of hard work, performing intertidal surveys in the morning, combined with beam trawls in the afternoon, followed by sorting, quantifying, and identifying the species caught.

The work is gruelling, and many in our group were compelled to drown their sorrows every night in a thing the locals refer to as “the pub”. Our admittedly already formidable knowledge of the marine environment has been bolstered significantly by our experiences on the island, with its vast array of available habitat types, biodiversity, and facilities, without which we could not have accomplished as much as we did.

The accommodation the locals deemed fit for us has suited our purposes on the island well, providing the essentials, such as warm beds, showers, and lasagne. Morale in our expeditionary force has remained surprisingly high, thanks in no small part to the sing-alongs organised by the esteemed Dr. Ramsay and McAllen, whose deviation into the biological sciences have left the musical world deprived.

The end of our pursuit is fast approaching, and the Millport experience has changed all of us inexorably. I fear many will not be able to re-accustom themselves with life on the mainland, where things move too fast, and you are not rocked softly to sleep by the gentle snoring of your roommates.

Oh Millport, we will pine for your barnacle filled beaches, and write sonnets devoted to the biodiversity of your benthos until the day that we are granted the privilege of returning to this biological wonderland.

Colm Murphy (Class rep)

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