Likin’ lichens!

By Dr Poppy Lakeman Fraser
OPAL Coordinator

Likin’ lichens – this is what many a London resident has been doing over the past fortnight.

Together with Pat Wolseley from the Natural History Museum, the OPAL team have been discovering different types of lichens that can be found in and around parks in the capital.

Leafy Xanthoria


Discover lichens on a training course

Want to know more about the diverse world of lichens? Learn directly from the experts at one of this year’s Introducing Lichens courses, run by the British Lichen Society (BLS) and Field Studies Council (FSC).

Courses are taking place across England, and each one includes a field excursion to get hands-on experience of identifying common lichens.


Lichen quiz


Cartoon of a scientistTest your knowledge of lichens with our quiz

Did Roman emperors dye their clothes with lichens? Can lichens help us smell sweeter for longer?

Decide which of the statements below are true and which are false. Check your score at the end. How many did you get right?

Lab-Field-Office - Part 3

by Ed Tripp, University of Nottingham

Not all goes as planned.

As I discussed in my last post, by June I had started to collect lichen samples in order to investigate their recovery in heathlands. This process is simple. You go to a heathland site with some pots, scissors and gloves. After eventually finding a patch of lichen, you carefully cut off a small sample and put it in a pot to take back to the lab.


Lab-Field-Office Part 2

by Ed Tripp, University of Nottingham

The Thesis Begins

By May I was well into the second year of my project. The ultimate aims of a PhD are to produce new science, perhaps publish the data, and to produce a thesis for me to defend in a room full of experts at the end of the three years. The thesis will be a huge body of work, so it's best to start it earlier rather than later.



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