Meet the Rotifer Family

IMG_1387As from Thursday onwards, we are now part of the Family of Rotiferologists. This will be the most important family to deal with in my coming PhD years. Arpat, Stefan and I were welcomed by Diego Fontaneto (Uncle Rotifer) at the ‘Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi’ in Verbania (Italy). This Institute resides in a big manor house near an idyllic lake: the perfect place to retreat to when one has to write up an article as there is no distraction besides some thorough scientific discussion (which is always welcome) and the sound of calling gulls.

The scientists at this Institute have great knowledge on aquatic ecosystems and the invertebrates that are part of such an ecosystem (for example rotifers). During the two days we visited them, they have shared their knowledge on how to resurrect resting eggs from sediment cores obtained from Lake Orta (a great place to eat an ice cream). So now we are able to bring the past back to life in our lab in Zürich.

More information on the details of my PhD project and the bizarre world of rotifers will follow relatively soon. So keep an eye on this blog if you want to know why even the NASA thinks that rotifers are rather exciting animals…


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