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Showing posts from January, 2017

Diatom of the Month: January 2017 – Amphora coffeaeformis

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By Keely Mills*

I am a fan of hot temperatures and sunny climates. This may sound strange coming from someone who lives in a wet and grey part of the UK (Nottingham). However, hot weather is one of the main reasons I love researching tropical lakes, and a trait I share with the January 2017 ‘Diatom of the Month’. I would like to introduce you to my favourite diatom: Amphora coffeaeformis (Fig. 1) [now renamed Halamphora coffeaeformis] – a salt-tolerant species, indicating a shallow, slightly saline environment (Gasse, 1986).

Fig. 1. A specimen of Amphora coffeaeformis found in the sediments of Lake Nyamogusingiri, Uganda (photo: K. Mills).
So, how did I come to ‘discover’ this diatom, and how did it come to be my favourite? My story starts as a new Ph.D. student at Loughborough University in 2005. I was working with Dr David Ryves on a project focussed on the Ugandan Crater Lakes, where I would use a palaeolimnological approach to infer past climate and environmental changes that took pl…