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Separated by coma

An Angers Autumn School on foraminifera

From 13 to 17 November, the Laboratory of Planetology and Geosciences (LPG) and the students of the Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution (BEE) master's degree organised their "Autumn School" on foraminifera, in the presence of the leading international specialists in these marine micro-organisms.

Les participant∙es ont visité la baie de Bourgneuf-en-Retz, en Loire-Atlantique.

Short programmes such as Summer Schools are an opportunity for students and professionals from all over the world to enrich their university experience by taking part in conferences, workshops, visits and courses given by recognised researchers in their field. UA's Faculty of Science has launched a new short programme, an Autumn School, with researchers from the LPG and 17 students from the new BEE master's degree course, Sea, Anthropisation, Diagnosis.

"The Anjou laboratory's position as a world leader in benthic foraminifera research, thanks to its ability to provide live observation of these micro-organisms, is a major asset in the organisation of this event," points out Emmanuelle Geslin, a university professor at the LPG. "Some fifteen scientists and industrialists from Germany, Austria and Sweden, among other countries, responded to the call. The students also played a major role in the success of the Angers Autumn School, applying for grants, handling communications, contacting and registering guest speakers".

A new topic every two years

Foraminifera, the subject of this year's Autumn School and an exhibition at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Angers in 2021, are marine micro-organisms. They live in sediments, and studying them enables us to monitor the quality of the coastal environment and thereby discover and better understand the past and present ecosystems.

In addition to the theoretical courses, practical work and lectures that peppered the week, the participants also went to Bourgneuf-en-Retz Bay (Loire-Atlantique) on Tuesday 14 November to take sediment samples as part of the Mudsurv project. The Mudsury project was launched in 2006 and was funded by the Nantes Atlantique Observatory of the Sciences of the Universe (Osuna), to set up spatio-temporal monitoring of the bay's intertidal mudflat.

"Every month for four years, and then every three months for the past three years, we have been sampling foraminifera and analysing sediment geochemistry to understand how these mudflats function and to establish phosphate and nitrogen monitoring to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of micro-algae and foraminifera populations," recounts Emmanuelle Geslin. "The field trip was very popular with the participants," she adds. This Autumn School will now be held yearly at the Faculty of Science, with a new subject of study/research every two years.

Summer School cancellation 2024

 The University of Angers has decided not to organise any Summer Schools in 2024 due to the Olympic Games that will take place during the Summer in France, as they will cause an increase in airfares and a lack of available accommodation for students.