Azores, Azores2015

Three planes and a thesis – a scientist version version of a famous movie

You may think that to get to Pico you basically fly straight across the Atlantic Ocean but, as with most travel thats worth while, its not that simple. I have three jumps to get there, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada (Capital of the Azores) then to Pico (via a short stop in Terceira – well it known as the Island airbus). So I was up at 5.30am and into Heathrow – I have to say terminal 2 has vastly improved since I was there last. But no time to get board since I settled down to do the last read through of Dan’s (Pass) thesis on earthworm microbiomes – what great work, no chance I am going to catnap on the way. Great feeling of jubilation after Yaser Sahl successful got him PhD on Friday, excitement about the field work and regret that John (Prof. John Morgan) is not with me. John’s still recovering from his stem cell transplant which was needed to CML – but 120 days out from the operation and we have already been on UK field work – maybe next year he will be with me again.

Well all connections work and apart from Luis (Cunha) the lead researcher on the project suffering for late winter flu we have arrived in Pico in one piece. Have to say dual prop planes are still they way to fly.


And we were welcomed in Pico by the sun and a great view of the mountain:


By with an hour of sunshine and four keen soil ecologist there no time to settle in, so we hit site 1, the corner of a farms field – and yes we found earthworm. Even better of the ones we collected we found one representation of Amynthas genus – not the eact species we wanted but it means there are here. Tomorrow the great earthworm hunt will start in ernest!!