British Diatom Meeting 2017 @ Malham Tarn FSC, North Yorkshire – by Hannah Vossel

This year’s British Diatom Meeting was held in October at the Malham Tarn FSC in North Yorkshire. Around 30 diatom scientists and diatom enthusiasts came together to discuss their current research and art. In total 18 talks and 4 posters, covering a broad field of topics, were presented in a very relaxed atmosphere with room for intensive discussions. Sarah Fell from the University of Leeds gave a brilliant talk about the “Alpine river benthic diatom responses to deglaciation” and was awarded with the John Carter prize for the best student presentation. Graham Underwood from the University of Essex was awarded from the participating students for the best senior talk entitled “What happens to sea ice diatom EPS when the ice melts”.

Saturday afternoon was used differently by all participants: Some explored the nature around the tarn, some climbed up the Malham Cove (which was used as scenery in one of the Harry Potter movies) despite the very rainy weather. Some of the participants used the free-time to look into the microscope and others had very fruitful discussions in the cosy fireplace room. 

A special highlight of the meeting was the “Diatom as Art” session on Saturday evening, in which for example Martyn Kelly showed his paintings of diatom landscapes ( and Chris Carter presented his stunning diatom photographs (one of them is used as cover of the Diatom Research magazine ;))       

For me personally, it was one of the best meetings I have attended so far! I was very pleased to get the chance to take part in this as a non-british diatomist J. To present and discuss your research in such a warm atmosphere was brilliant.  To meet colleagues from science as Rick Battarbee, get to know the students better and meeting up with diatom enthusiasts in a place in the middle of nowhere was very nice. The well-organized meeting, special thanks to Keely Mills and Matthew Jones at this point, gave the chance and room to deepen discussions beside the scientific program. Some impressions of the meeting are given in the pictures.

Next year’s British Diatom Meeting will be organized by James Williams from the University of Cardiff in Wales. 


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