Experiment Overload

I’ve been locked away in the lab for a month now working on our big experiment.


Its been 4 months of preparation and one month of all work and no play.

However the end is in sight, hopefully by the end of next week the experiment will all be over and ill just have a hoard of data to analyze plus a few last measurements to do at my leisure. I thought id share the ups and downs so far;

The Downs

  • Equipment failure – My PAM fluromenter is a temperamental diva, so far it has been out of action a mere 4 times leading to countless hours of looking at electronics boards and frustration.
  • Things Dying – In the week before starting so issues with our aquarium lead to the loss of some of our corals meaning we will have to redo part of the experiment, a setback but this happens.
  • Things not dying – The purpose of the experiment is to gradually increase tank temperatures to simulate a bleaching episode leading to the death of the corals, however I wish they would all die just that little bit quicker.
  • Family – My mothers 60th birthday falls right in the middle of my experiment, no one understands that I can’t just leave, I become the bad guy.
  • Friends – it feels bad to constantly tell everyone you can’t come out, or for that drink after work, it’s not my fault don’t hate me!
  • Lab tension – There are several of us all experimenting in the lab at the moment all needing equipment and the time of our technician , however luckily there have been no conflicts so far, we all understand and try to keep spirits high with random singing and the occasional break in to dance.

Inside PAM

The Ups

  • Holiday – What keeps me going is knowing that I’m going on holiday when it’s all over with good friends and bloggers Emma and Lorna. We are off north to the land of ice commonly known as Iceland and hopefully have northern lights, thermal springs and continental plates to look forward too! Hens and Weddings – When I finish its also the start of the wedding season with 4 hen parties and 4 weddings to look forward to and to catch up with old friends =)
  • Data – Although it’s a pain I’m looking forward to having some good data for my thesis, fingers crossed!


Science isn’t always glamorous but you have to take the highs with the lows. I’d much rather have short periods of high intensity experimentation than a long drone over the full three years, but everyone to their own.


And if it all fails…. Buy a silly hat!

Squid Hat


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