Taking a dive into biodiversity of the shallow benthic invertebrate organisms of Fowler’s Bay Conservation area.

Today I learned from the experts, Sabine Dittmann and Orlando Lam-Gordillo how to collect benthic sediment invertebrate samples. Sabine and Orlando are marine specialists and have done a lot of work throughout South Australia and in the Coorong.

The focus today was quantitative so we collected roughly a dozen different samples from Fowler’s Bay Conservation area. I learned how to collect a sample an area of the specific benthic invertebrate species, process and catalog each group in preparation for South Australia Museum. Some of the highlights from collecting this morning were: pebble crab, hermit crab species and several different invertebrate worms.

More than anything today, I learned how to see things differently while walking on the shore and really explore the relationships between the different organisms. There was evidence of life everywhere whether it is the depression within the sand from a sting ray, tracks from the different shore birds or different coloration within the sand.

Observations play a vital role in science as they are the first step in noticing something which leads scientists to questions. This is the first step into the scientific process and beginning to explore the roles and relationships between organisms which often leads to research.

What sort of things do you notice in the world around you? I encourage you to explore the world around you with a fresh pair of eyes and think of questions you’d like to explore further.