Lab work

When people consider ecological research, I think they mostly concentrate on the fieldwork – chasing butterflies and collecting samples. However, although this is certainly an important part of the project (and great fun), much more time in research is spent in entering data, in analysis and, for entomologists, in identification of specimens. Since coming back from fieldwork, that is what most of my time has been taken up with in Cambridge. Already results are falling out, showing clear differences in the insect communities between different areas of the plantation. We have also started to catalogue the collection of dragonflies and butterflies we made across the plots, prior to writing an identification guide to aid later studies. Such work, although desk based, is as interesting in its own way as fieldwork. It is at this point that researchers discover whether their study has worked and whether their hypotheses were correct.

Some of the dragonfly images collected as part of the project

Some of the dragonfly images collected as part of the project

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