Week 2 with the YMT science team

I can’t believe I am two weeks through my placement already! I’m having the best time and I’m learning so much fossil-related information that I do sometimes feel like my biologist brain might explode!

I was only in for four days this week because of the bank holiday. My favourite day was spent going through a small part of the Tempest Anderson collection — he was a volcanologist and his photos really are incredible. They are just sat in boxes at the moment though so part of my job whilst I’m here is to clean and digitise them so that they can go online and become accessible to everyone.

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One of the slides from the Tempest Anderson collection. Two boxes down, 98 to go!

I have also started making some material for the Yorkshire Fossil Festival. This was simple enough when I had old leaflets as a guide but I am now making ones from scratch. My knowledge of marine reptiles and corals is fairly non-existent but I now have a couple of fossil books for reference and I’m learning quickly!

Thursday was a whistle-stop tour of everything Jurassic. The museum hosted geologists from across Yorkshire and it really was fascinating to listen to what they all have to say. I was particularly interested in one plant fossil that appeared (apparently) to show signs of microbial preservation.

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A plant fossil. The bumpy parts are evidence of possible microbial preservation, something which is highly unusual.

I was also introduced to a couple of unusual ammonites that seem to have been bitten. It’s really cool to be able to find out the background of things and learn the stories behind them all. None of the science team seem to mind my ignorant questions either which is very fortunate!

week2_pips_ammonite
An ammonite with a bite missing…

Next week I’m looking forward to getting involved with some of the outreach work that the museum does as well as continuing to make my way through the Tempest Anderson collection. Here’s hoping the weather holds out for my walk in!

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