Blue Hole, Andros

PhD reflections: KT

Between a Rock and a Hard Place began as an Earth Science PhD blog in February 2013, as a place to ramble on about PhD life and general science topics. Almost two years later, some of the contributors have finished, others have submitted, and the rest are nearing the end. Over the next few weeks, […]

Eddy currents being generated by external cilia of coral.  The paths of the tracer particles are colour-coded by fluid velocity. Image courtesy of MIT and the researchers

Science Snap (#32): Coral currents

Coral is misunderstood.  It may look like a beautiful underwater plant, and for a long time it was thought to be one, but is in fact an invertebrate.  The coral structures are colonies made up of individual small polyps.  These produce an exoskeleton made up of calcium carbonate, which helps to preserve them in life and also in […]

Science Snap (#21): Diatoms

Originally posted on the EGU blog network When you start looking at things at a microscopic level, everything starts to look a little alien.  Minerals assemblages can look like the landscapes of far off planets and microbes can look like their inhabitants.  One such type of alien looking microscopic life form are diatoms. Diatoms are […]

Do we need to suffer to succeed?

Originally posted on the EGU blog network Last week the newly formed Bristol Doctoral College hosted a postgraduate seminar entitled “Surviving the stress of a PhD” by James Hayton, PhD.  My initial thoughts on attending a talk such as this were that it might be a little patronising (no one wants to hear about how […]

Seems like everyone is a climate modeller these days!

Originally posted on the EGU blog network In December last year there was a lot of buzz around J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy land Middle Earth, and I am not just talking the second instalment of The Hobbit franchise. Taking a break from racing his rabbits about Anduin, Radagast the Brown (otherwise known as Dr Dan Lunt, University […]

Science snap (#12): Purple bacteria

Originally posted on the EGU blog network The world of microbiology is weird, wonderful and also quite multi-colourful.  Purple bacteria, a particular hue of microbe which holds a special place in my heart, have just taken the spotlight when it comes to the search for life on other planets.  These bacteria were known to dominate […]

Negative results, have no fear!

Originally posted on the EGU blog network Not all research is successfully and not all experiments have a positive outcome or even the outcome you first expected.  When you are a young researcher, such as a PhD student, this is often very hard to come to terms with.  It can feel like its a personal failure […]

The Cascades: A carbonate geochemist’s point of view

Originally posted on the EGU blog network Recently, I was lucky enough to visit a fellow Bristol Earth Sciences PhD student in Vancouver, Washington for a weekend of volcano-spotting (and hiking) in the Cascades. As a non-volcanologist, I was just excited to get some fresh air, good weather and great company for a few days […]

Mary Anning

One of my favourite pastimes is to wander around book shops and occasionally indulge myself with a purchase.  Recently, I was lucky enough to have the luxury of a few spare hours whilst waiting for a train and got lost in a large chain bookstore (Between a Rock does not want to be accused of favouring one book chain over […]

Everything in its own little box

Categorising things is something that scientists have a tendency to do.  Earth Scientists are prime examples of this, with all rocks (on Earth) fitting into three main categories: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.