A whole lot of information about mussel health and behaviour can be collected without expensive equipment. So what are scientists looking for?
Ellie Watts (Not everything is done through some really flash computer modelling programme. A lot of it is just looking at things under the microscope, writing some notes. We’re looking at sperm and egg quality, fertilisation, and growing them on for that first two weeks to get really strong fast growing mussel larvae that will attach to ropes really well.
So we are just continually monitoring them everyday, measuring larvae under a microscope and looking at their behaviour, the way they’re swimming, their lipid contents, the fullness of their guts. Some really basic things.
So a lot of it’s not, you know, really full-on technology. A lot of it is just basic animal husbandry and observation skills, and writing it on pen and paper. But when we are collecting lots of data and have lots of numbers to work with, then we put them down onto different programmes and start forming graphs and trends in that way.