In other words, I was interested in surface-dwelling plankton. When conditions are 'optimum', these creatures grow in large numbers. But does this increase in numbers affect how surface-dwelling plankton build their shells, and if so, why? Answering this question will give us a better understanding of their ecology and how they will respond in the future to environmental changes.
I studied a species of foraminifera called Globortalia inflata to investigate how the thickness of their shells has changed over the past 20,000 years and then compared my results with published data on the abundance of G inflata (a measure of optimum growth conditions).
While in Japan to research a travel book, I spent a night in Hiroshima. Talking to the ‘guides’ who met me for dinner, it emerged both were children of survivors of the atomic bomb but their parents had never talked to them about the blast. I went with my guides to a neighbourhood meeting; hearing that I was interested in war survivors, a 94-year-old woman, who had been attending these meetings for years, stood up and said: ‘I too am a hibakusha’. ...continue reading →
Last week I was helping out with a media training week, working with MK College students. The students spent the week learning the skills needed to make a short film focusing on a research project being run by the OU. This particular training focused on the nQuire platform. Here’s my run down of the week: ...continue reading →
As an academic in the newly formed International Education and Development research group at the Open University, I’ve been thinking a lot about social justice recently. I’ve been particularly interested in the suggestion in UNESCO’s latest Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report that teachers need to be better trained in order to support the most disadvantaged children.