Lots more busy times in the lab over the last few weeks. This time extracting DNA from tea bags and soils samples.
The extracted DNA can then be analysed to tell me what microorganisms are present in the soil and the tea bags!
Yet another busy week for the Tea Bag Index – UK last week!
I was back in Vienna, this time for the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual conference. Where nearly 15,000 scientists from more than 100 countries gathered together to talk about our research.
Once again I got the chance to tell them how lovely my volunteers have been!
Whilst in Vienna I was also lucky enough to attend the Austrian Citizen Science conference. Another great event gathering researchers who are working with lovely volunteers, like all of you, to progress with their research.
It was another great event for the Tea Bag Index, with lots of different people talking about its use across the world. Including the amazing team that came up with the concept in the first place!
March 2nd 2017
I’m in Vienna at the moment at the second International Tea Bag Index Workshop where 30+ scientists have gathered to talk about the tea bag index and how we use/ intend to use it.
A lot of my time has been spent telling everyone how amazing you, my lovely volunteer team members, have been in the UK!! (You really are wonderful). We’re hoping similar projects are going to be as successful all over the world so we can get one step closer to a global TBI database!
December 20th 2016
Wow! The Tea Bag Index – UK website has now had 7,000 views in 90 different countries!
December 15th 2016
Happy International Tea Day everyone! I think mine is being spent slightly differently to most!
December 5th 2016
Happy World Soils Day! (Yes it’s a real thing!) Soil is so important for life on Earth. Have a look at this graphic to find out more!
November 29th 2016
Recently I’ve been speaking to Forest Research about using the Tea Bag Index method across their forest sites in the UK. Check out what they are doing at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/beeh-afphs4
November 24th 2016
Another day, another oven full of tea bags and soil to process! Thank you again everyone, the support for the project has been amazing!
November 15th 2016
Last week the Tea Bag Index – UK was represented at the annual RHS John Macleod lecture. Hopefully some of you got to see it!
September 22nd 2016
The packs are starting to come back in now and are in the oven, along with my tea bags from RHS Wisley.
I have a lot of weighing to do this week!!
Thank you to everyone who has taken part this year!
September 14th 2016
This week I’ve been at at my experimental site at RHS Wisley digging up my tea bags (you can read more about the site at https://teabagindexuk.wordpress.com/about-me/)
They were a bit tricky to find under all those plants, and I was cooking slightly in this heat, but I found most of them!
How will my results compare to yours? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.
Note to self, don’t plan fieldwork during a heatwave!
August 18th 2016
Huge thank you to the TBI project for sending me some emergency tea bags, from Sweden. With their help I’ve now sent out packs to all those who were waiting for them from the Tea Bag Index – UK.
August 10th 2016
Busy busy writing up some of the Tea Bag Index data today. Watch this space! That is if I don’t drown under all this paper!
July 27th 2016
I’m officially all out of packs for the Tea Bag Index – UK this year!
Thank you to everyone for the overwhelming support and taking them off my hands. I’ll have to get online quick to order more!
July 18th 2016
The Tea Bag Index – UK project has now sent out 400 packs in total!
So many more than I could have imagined, thank you so much everyone, the support for the project has been overwhelming!
July 1st 2016
This week I’ve been burying tea bags at my field experiment at RHS Wisley.
I have 80 plots, treated with different types of organic matter application (composted bark, spent mushroom, horse manure etc.) and planted with a different flower each year.
How will your garden results compare to mine? We’ll have to wait and see.
Although it may take me some time to weigh all of mine, there are 800 of them!!
It’s finally here, Soapbox Science is tomorrow! I’ll be in Oxford on Cornmarket Street from 4-5pm talking about the Tea Bag Index – UK. Along with a group of amazing female scientists to showcase our research to the public, in one of 14 events across the country (www.soapboxscience.org).
And what better way to explain what a tea bag can tell you about soil than making a giant one!
If anyone is in Oxford this Saturday, between 4-5pm, I’ll be taking part in this years Soapbox Science event! Where I’ll be standing up and talking about the Tea Bag Index – UK! (What else?!)
The first batch of TBI packs are all finished!
Those of you who have signed up to take part this year, they’re on their way!!
“Our very own Sarah Duddigan will be participating in this year’s Soapbox Science event on Saturday June 18th in Oxford, talking about ‘What can a tea bag tell you about soil?’
Over 160 female scientists will take their science to the streets of 13 UK cities across England, Wales and Scotland this summer for the Soapbox Science Festival. Now in its sixth year, Soapbox Science challenges perceptions of who a scientist is by celebrating diversity in women in science.
Read more about this brilliant (and free!) event and the importance of boosting the visibility of women in science here: http://bit.ly/24hJ3PR”
I’m pleased to announce that the Tea Bag Index – UK will be running for another year!
It doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, whether you’ve taken part before, or how much you work on your garden, all are welcome to take part in the Tea Bag Index – UK project!
The method is simple, I’ll send you some tea bags, and you bury them in your garden. After three months you dig them up and send them back to me! If you are interested in participating please send your name and postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another week another presentation! This time it was for the University of Reading School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science PhD Student Research Symposium (phew what a mouth full!).
Thank you to everyone who came along!
April 7th 2016
If anyone is in Oxford come along!
“This summer, PhD student, Sarah Duddigan will be taking part in Soapbox Science (www.soapboxscience.org) in Oxford.
Soapbox Science is a fantastic public outreach platform for promoting women scientists, and the science they do, with events taking place in 13 cities across the UK.
“With Soapbox Science, we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy, learn from, heckle, question, probe, interact with and be inspired by some of our leading scientists. No middle man, no powerpoint slide, no amphitheater – just remarkable women in science who are there to amaze you with their latest discoveries, and to answer the science questions you have been burning to ask.”
The title of Sarah’s talk will be ‘What can tea tell you about soil?’ Where she will be talking about her citizen science project the Tea Bag Index – UK “
April 1st 2016
Massive thank you to Which? Gardening magazine for helping spread the word about the project.
April 6th 2016
Busy week in the lab this week, lots of equipment and ridulous outfits!
March 25th 2016
The last of the weighing out of the samples is done. The results should be with you shortly after easter!
March 9th 2016
Back on the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). This allows me to look at how the composition of the tea is changing in the soil over time. A very big machine for a very small sample!
March 7th 2016
February 26th 2016
Today I hosted the first International Tea Bag Index Workshop, where 20+ academics from across Europe gathered to discuss using the TBI method in their own experiments across the world. It was a fantastic opportunity to talk about the great work my amazing volunteers have been doing for me!
February 23rd 2016
Last week, I was given the opportunity to present at the RHS London Early Spring Plant fair.
I gave a public talk on soil decomposition and why it’s important, and discussed the TBI – UK project.
It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the community about soil science, and was a great experience! Thank you to everyone who attended.
February 16th 2016
Looking forward to presenting on the Tea Bag Index project tomorrow at the RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair!