When I started my PhD, I thought I knew what-was-what in British streams, rivers and lakes. It would be fish, crayfish, caddisfly larvae, dragonfly larvae, mayfly larvae, thats it. I was wrong. I never knew that there was a species of RIVER LIMPET living in Britain – a small version of what we see in the sea. And there a small clams living in our rivers, called Pea Mussels. I knew about the endangered Freshwater Pearl Mussel, but didn’t realise there was a similarly-size (large), more common species called the SWAN MUSSEL. And there are many different crustacaceans living in our freshwaters, similar to what lives in the sea, such as freshwater amphipod shrimps, and freshwater woodlice (aka Hoglice).
From past work, I am still catching up with descriptions of new species from Africa – so far I have helped describe a new species of frog. There are other species I am still helping to describe or describe aspects of their evolution or biology, such as what the larvae of a particular species look like or how they live. Watch this space!
In the end, after we know what is living in a particular place, the task is to understand how they live, what their use is to humanity, and to be prepared in case they decline and head towards an early extinction.
Ahahahah would have love to, but we focus on different things! However, many times when we have our animals in the aquariums for long, we start having a lot of species, and we start discovering a whole world of micro-species that we have no idea what they are…When it comes to marine species, you can never have just one! When you have an algae, it will come with crabs, baby mussels, little snails, mites, mini starfish, loads of shrimp like creatures and who knows what else…it is never just an algae! All you need to do is to look close enough to find them!
Namibia is really dry (it’s almost a desert)… so we only have a river running through our campsite for a few months. But I have seen frogs and fish living in it… so I’d love to have a look at see how they survive such harsh environments!
And who knows… maybe I’ll find something new