On Friday 13, I went to La Boqueria market with the Marine Biology Minor course. There you can find all kind of seafood you can imagine, like fish, squids, crabs, “gambas” shrimps, etc. etc.; we also saw a wired crustacean Spanish people call “percebe” (goose barnacle). It lives attached to rocks in coastal areas exposed to strong waves, and it seems that it’s considered a real delicacy here. I was not used to the smell and to see living crabs on an ice bed, that’s fresh seafood! I had no idea Spaniards like safood so much, and that you can actually eat so many different marine organisms! You can find some receipt here: http://bit.ly/QHB90
I bought some fish and I went to a park nearby the market to observe and analyse it. People looked at me strangely, but with curiosity…
On July 15, I went with my class to Badalona beach for our “Beach Campaign class”. You can think that we went sunbathing and swimming, or even playing with sand… but there’s much more than this! We applied some techniques Marine Biologists use to study marine organisms and their environment. Our teacher Arianna learned all these techniques when she was working as a pre-doctoral student at the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar of Barcelona and at the Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes. But now she is devoting to teach marine biology in a new environmental interpretive centre, La Casa del Mar, located in one of the nicest beaches of the Costa Brava (Fenals beach, Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava), collaborating with the NGO Xatrac.
On July 20 we visited the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (CSIC). It’s a Spanish Government research institution in Marine Science. We had the unique opportunity to visit the experimental area!It’s wonderful to be able to see real marine scientists on their daily work. They’re currently developing research about the effects of climate change on corals and molluscs, they’re studying the biology of seabass for aquaculture, and the negative effects of bottom trawling fishing gears http://bit.ly/91LtNF. There’s also a project to study the effects of jellyfish proliferation on coastal systems and on fish populations http://bit.ly/MG4THd. Macarena, who works at the Marine Biology and Oceanography Department explained us the life cycle of jellyfish http://bit.ly/SSrljc; we discovered why we don’t see any jellyfish in winter: they spend winter fixed on the bottom of the sea in the polyp phase! We saw all the life phases in small aquaria, with very tiny, mini-jellyfish floating and contracting their tentacles!
There’s also a storage area, where you can find almost everything you need to organize your own expedition to explore the world ocean… there’s up to a real, yellow submarine!!
And finally I went to CosmoCaixa. We watched a movie about natural selection and how animals and humans have changed over time.
You see? It was so interesting to see how everything has changed so much! Also, one of the funniest things we realized during the visit is that Darwins‘ boat with which he travelled to South America and discovered natural selection is called Beagle. Meghan, one of our programs deans, loves beagles! Did you read her bio?
By the way, you can take a look at my teacher’s bio. Her name is Arianna and she has been working for the program for 3 years!
Hometown: Gallarate, Varese-Italy
Life outside of La Prepa: Arianna holds a Ph. D. in Ecology, has studies and worked as a marine biologist in Portugal, France, Spain and Malaysia. She lives in Blanes (Girona) and she’s working in educational and science popularitzation programs.
Interests/Hobbies: Arianna enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and kayaking with friends. She practices agility dog with Juno… but she also loves relaxing on hammock with her cat Sinpa!