Welcome to the blog for the Freshwater Biological Association

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Freshwater discovery

Share insights from leading scientists, practitioners, students and enthusiasts into current global freshwater research and issues and hear from our Honorary Research Fellows and flagship science project teams.

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Freshwater knowledge

Explore highlights from our world-leading collections, archives and publications and be the first to hear about the latest innovations in freshwater knowledge management from our digital developers and curators.

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Freshwater community

Connect across the freshwater world with posts from the field and our Dorset and Windermere labs, and commentary from our members, volunteers and community teams and the regional freshwater groups.

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North East and Yorkshire Freshwater group – INNS meeting

On 15th December the North East and Yorkshire Freshwater group organised its second annual meeting which focused on the topic of invasive non-native species. The event featured talks from a variety of organisations across the region as well as an opportunity for open discussion and knowledge exchange with regards to the work carried out on

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The beauty of (snowflakes) microscopic algae

Ah, the snowflake: symbol of short winter days, crisp frosty mornings, Carol singing under the stars and the Christmas season… However, this is not a snowflake: Hilda Canter-Lund, Bicosoeca, 1995, Freshwater Biological Association, http://www.environmentdata.org/archive/fbaia:3216   It is a photograph of the mass development of the flagellate protozoan Bicosoeca on Asterionella. Astrionella is a genus of

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A Classification of Coleoptera in 3D

The Freshwater Biological Association has a long history of publishing identification keys. Its first Scientific Publication, A Key to the British Species of Corixidae (Hemiptera-Heteroptera) with Notes on their Distribution, was published in 1939 by FBA entomologist Thomas T. Macan (1910-1985). Macan worked at the FBA throughout his distinguished career from 1935 to 1976, focusing

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Collecting on the move: T.T. Macan’s on-board ship collection (1933-34)

Thomas T. Macan (1910-1985) had a distinguished career as an entomologist, focusing on aquatic insects, which he studied for most of his life at the Freshwater Biological Association. Yet, before joining the FBA at Wray Castle on Windermere in 1935, Macan’s first job was in marine, not freshwater biology, when he joined the 1933-34 John

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Water samples from Lake Titicaca taken in 1937 from the FBA unpublished collections.

Opening up historic samples from the FBA collections

Allan Pentecost, Honorary Research Fellow and course tutor at FBA Windermere, recently investigated a historic sample brought to life when several large wooden crates of bottles were relocated to avoid risk of flooding. The bottles, numbering around 180, contain historic water samples from the Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to Lake Titicaca undertaken in 1937. Allan

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Wax blocks containing algae prepared for cutting histology sections from the East African Lakes in the 1930s.

Exploring FBA collections and archives

The Freshwater Biological Association holds internationally important collections of preserved specimens, which include insects, plants and ‘wet samples’ of water, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and algae. Having recently taken on the role of Information Scientist, and coming from an archives background, I wanted to learn how to best curate these scientifically valuable collections and improve access for

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The FBA’s Digital Data Archive

In 2010 the FBA and our partners at King’s College London were contracted by Defra to build a digital repository to store the data outputs from the Defra Demonstration Test Catchments Platform (www.demonstratingcatchmentmanagement.net) and the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Inventory Research Platform (www.ghgplatform.org.uk). The DTC Archive project lasted for four years and culminated with the creation

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Seeing science differently – Algae-inspired art

I was invited by the National Trust to create an Arts Council funded exhibition at Wray Castle, the former home of the Freshwater Biological Association until 1950, and chose the algal forms from their Fritsch Collection as my inspiration. I  have  a  fascination  with  small  living  things  which  I  think  started  some  years  ago  when 

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