During the summer the campus is an oasis of peace. But not for everyone. Resource asks those who keep working this summer what they're up to.
A see through hose is lying on the floor in the hallway inside the Lumen building. Fran Oficialdegui keeps walking between two laboratories, connected by a garden hose. He is preparing the labs for experiments with freshwater crabs.
What's the purpose of the hose?
‘Copper free water flows through the hose because the copper is lethal for the crabs. I need this water for my experiments. There is no tap with copper-free water in the laboratory where I work, so I'm getting it from a lab which does. Which is why there is a hose in the hallway temporarily. It is quite a pain because I have to check if the containers aren't overflowing in my lab. And the door to the lab where the copper-free water tap is has an alarm which goes off every couple of minutes because it's open. I have to stop the alarm with my personal pass so I'm running from one lab to the other.'
Why are you on the campus?
‘These experiments are for the PhD research I'm doing at the Estación Biológica Doñana research facilities in Sevilla. We have a cooperation agreement with Wageningen UR, which means I can do my experiments over here. The facilities at Aquatic Ecology in Wageningen are better than those in Spain. I'm here for four months, at the end of August I'm going back home.
‘I want to find out if the growth of crabs is influenced by exposure to different temperatures. I also look at what happens with fully grown crabs when they live under different circumstances, for example with a fast or slow current. And finally I am going to observe the interaction between different crab species.’
What are you doing right now?
‘I'm building the test setup for the crabs. I'm regulating the temperature in the four containers to different levels. In each container there are smaller containers in which I can vary the currents. I'm going to put the crabs inside the smaller containers and analyse the effects of the combinations between temperature and current on the crabs. I’ll start the experiments next week.'