Monday, 2 November 2009

My Project: A Work Based Learning Perspective

Filter Maturation

My second year research project at Falmouth Marine School is the investigation into which type of aquarium filter; from biological, chemical or physical is able to most efficiently replicate the natural conditions of the sea. Succinctly put, filter maturation is the fostering of “friendly bacteria” in an aquarium environment that act as decomposers*, recycling nutrients and preventing the build up of harmful toxins* such as ammonia* and nitrites*.
So Where Does Work Based Learning Come In?
The rubric defined in the work based learning module (see the wbl post for further information) requires us to use are project to develop ourselves in a vocational context. This requires a response to the following questions
Which businesses and organisations and institutions are involved in your project, both directly and indirectly?
The list is potentially endless, but some of the prospective commercial industries that could be involved in my research project are filtration companies like
It is important to note that I am working on this project in tandem with Craig Baldwin of Falmouth Marine School, and he has intimated to me that a small level of funding may be available. If this turns out to be the case, the level of infiltration of these major players may differ depending on the level of available funding.
It is likely that these globalised companies will only be involved indirectly, and direct access to their equipment will come through subsidiary companies and local business in the Falmouth/Cornwall area. Further discussion with Craig Baldwin is required and I will update this post with more business involvement, as and when I know about their involvement.

Prospective organisations and institutions that could be involved at some level are
Blue Reef Aquarium and the ASPRO foundation*
BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria)*• AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquaria)*
Marlin and the MBA (Marine Biological Association*
• Aquaculture Research (Journal)*
Fish Farmer (Journal)*Ornamental Fish and OATA *
BTS (British Toxicological Society)*• SOB (Society of Biology)*• NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)*
What are they and how are they involved now or in the future?
Blue Reef and ASPRO- Blue Reef aquarium is a leisure park situated in newquay. It is one of the UKs leading aquariums committed to educating members of the public about conservation and the marine environment. It is UK subsidiary of ASPRO, which is a profitable leisure park industry with public aquaria around the world. The direct involvement of blue reef and ASPRO in my project is negligible, but it is an organisation that might be interested in the successful results of my project, leading to possible career implications.
BIAZA- BIAZA is the professional body representing the best zoos in Britain and Ireland. It is dedicated to advancing public awareness on the issues of biodiversity and conservation, and has carried out several campaigns over the years in that name. In terms of my project the website contains useful information about aquarium protocol, and also has dedicated pages on legislation giving insight into the political, and to some degree ethical* ramifications of public aquaria. There is also a devoted jobs page, and with my project being in the framework of this field, it provides me with certain career opportunities. As well as this BIAZA has a commercial members section allowing possible networking opportunities. It is free to join as a basic associate of BIAZA
MBA & MARLIN- The marine biological association describes itself as “a Learned Society and one of the UK’s leading marine biological research institutes. Our mission is to promote scientific research into all aspects of life in the sea and to disseminate to the public the knowledge gained” Like most associations the MBA’s primary goal is educating the public. The MBA could potentially have a vast involvement in my project both now and in the future. Has well has having a vast level of online information resources such as MARLIN (an online species database) it has the largest dedicated marine library in the country. As well as providing useful literature, the MBA also grants members access to its laboratory, which could provide an invaluable role in part of my research project process in checking the tank water for ammonia and nitrite. With such an impressive array of resources, membership to this association is something I am certainly considering. There are variegated levels of membership, but a student membership with access the library and lab would be around £30. Using the lab could also help me to build up a network of contacts who might be interested in the results of my project, which would not cause any harm to my potential career prospects.
Fish Farmer- Fish Farmer is a world leading aquaculture magazine/journal that was established at the start of commercial aquaculture in the UK 30 years ago. Fish Farmer is published bi-monthly and contains all the latest news and developments in the world of contemporary aquaculture. This information could provide useful, but I have no control over the information published, and as such information directly useful in the context of my project would be sporadic. What it does offer is a large job section which could prove to be useful in the future. A year’s student subscription would cost £44.
Ornamental Fish- Ornamental fish is an online site designed for aquatic hobbyists, and the aquaculture industry in general. Without membership you have access to a variety of information about setting up and maintaining aquaria which is information that I plan to exploit. OATA (Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) is linked with ornamental fish and a membership with this association provides a wealth of benefits that can be seen here. Unfortunately however it does not seem individuals can join unless they are involved in a professional career, such as fish breeders or vets.
BTS- Toxicology is at the crux of my project, and the British Toxicology Society can provide key information for my project. The BTS was established as a limited not for profit company in the 70s and its mission statement is “The British Toxicology Society (BTS) will be a leading international toxicology society, based on the highest quality science and will promote the advancement, communication and understanding of those scientific disciplines necessary to foster public health and environmental safety” This institution I feel will have a greater bearing in my future, rather than right now. I plan to study toxicology on completion of my degree and this society can offer me a lot in the future. A student membership costing £20 will prove invaluable in my studies in the future, as it offers a wealth of information and newsletters, as well as an active continuing professional development* programme.
NERC- The Natural Environment Council is not directly relevant to my project, but it does explore the concept of environmental ethics and the impacts of burgeoning scientific advancement, that I feel is an important aspect of science ( see my post, project: from an ethical standpoint, coming soon)

Monday, 3 November 2008

Ostrea Edulis
Animalia -- Animal, animals, animaux
Mollusca -- molluscs, mollusks, mollusques, molusco
Bivalvia Linnaeus, 1758 -- bivalve, bivalves, bivalves, clams, mexilhão, ostra, palourdes

Pteriomorphia Beurlen, 1944
Ostreidae Rafinesque, 1815

Ostrea Linnaeus, 1758

Species Ostrea edulis Linnaeus, 1758 -- edible oyster

The native or flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) is a sessile, filter-feeding, bivalve mollusc. It is associated with highly productive estuarine and shallow coastal water habitats with sediments ranging from mud to gravel. Ostrea edulis is widely distributed around the British Isles, the North Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea. Along with other oyster species, it is also cultivated in North America, Australasia and Japan The native oyster has been revered for centuries for its taste, and as such has been cultivated for generations. The population has declined rapidly in the 20th and 21st century. As a result aquacultural techniques have become a more popular means of oyster cultivation

Ostrea edulis is an interesting species and its methods of reproduction is fascinating. It is a Protandrous hermaphrodite. This site gives a good basic diagram of the oyster Lifecycle

Pictures Of Native Oyster

Major Countries responsible for distribution