Last Monday 31 brave Zoology/Ecology students set forth to the land of highland cows, haggis, and most importantly the Millport Marine Station. After a smooth journey over we were thrown straight into life at the station with a tour of the area and the first of many interesting lectures. The next day we set out to Kames Bay where we conducted environmental surveys, took grain samples, and dug box cores. Digging a box core involves a metal box that is jumped on until it is firmly in the ground, obviously an incredibly graceful technique. We spend the rest of the day identifying all the species in the sand.
The following morning we were lucky enough to tag along on a beam trawl. The weather was not so great this day so we had to keep checking that we hadn’t lost anyone overboard!! The rest of the morning was spent identifying all the weird and wonderful starfish, crustaceans, and fish. We then got to look at all the crazy plankton under the microscope! On Thursday we braved the rain to count the species in rock pools, and when I say rain, I mean a monsoon that we practically had to swim through! No one was washed away and we made it back to base safe and sound.
On the last two days we had to collect data for our own projects. We had a great taxi service (Rob) who brought us anywhere we needed to go. There were many different projects on jellyfish, crabs, anemones, and various other invertebrates. We all had to come up with an experiment and design different sampling methods with the help of our lecturers.
On the final day there was a big celebration in Millport to mark the end of the tourist season. This was a strange event with houses decorated with padella candles and displays honouring great movies, including Bear Wars (Star Wars with teddy bears).
Overall we had a really great time and learned a lot about marine biology. It was an incredibly well organised trip and we all wish to thank Dr Rob McAllen, Prof. Sarah Culloty, Prof. John Davenport, and Mary Catherine for all their help and guidance.