Visions from nature

Field Work on Jonsvatnet

By Sam Perrin

Field work has kicked off over the last few months at the NTNU University Museum. Amongst the projects that have restarted in the field is the Jonsvatnet survey, a plankton survey of the lake which makes up Trondheim’s drinking water supply. Museum research personnel commenced this year’s survey on the 27th of June, with one severely underdressed Australian in tow.


Preparation at Jonsvatnet (Photo credit: Sam Perrin, NTNU University Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0.)

The Jonsvatnet survey first took place in 1977, and has been conducted every year since 1983, making it the longest-running survey of its kind. Originally commissioned by the Trondheim Kommune to monitor Trondheim’s drinking water, the Museum reports its findings to the Kommune every year, and has been the subject of multiple scientific publications.

Among the more important of these have been studies investigating the impact of the invasive opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta. The study successfully tracked the decline of Cladoceran and Rotifer populations in sections of the lake after the shrimps introduction to Jonsvatnet in the early seventies.

I joined Museum Collection Manager Karstein Hårsaker and Gaute Kjærstad on Jonsvatnet, and quickly learnt that Trondheim weather was not to be trusted, and the sneakers and a light jacket are not a wise idea for the middle of a lake in Norwegian weather. I’m happy to report that we’ve since had much nicer weather:

Karstein and Ane out on Jonsvatnet (Photo credit: Sam Perrin, NTNU University Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0.)

There are worse ways to spend a morning. The Jonsvatnet survey will continue until the end of September.

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