It is probably time to present the participants of this year’s great expedition to the lakes of northern and southern Thailand:
Minna Väliranta from Helsinki University, who together with her MSc students works on the plant macrofossil record of several of the Thai lakes, came along to sample seeds and plants and to see the settings of some of the lakes.
Sheri Fritz from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a diatom specialist with a long experience of tropical lakes and has been part of the Thailand monsoon project since it started in 2009.
Sakonvan (Moo) Chawachai is PhD student at Stockholm University and is currently working with the sediments from Kumphawapi and Pa Kho, trying to reconstruct climate and environment during the past 9000 years.
Akkaneewut (Nut) Chabangborn, also PhD student at Stockholm University and on leave from his teaching position at Chulalongkorn University currently works with climate model – data comparisons and with the sediments of Pa Kho dating to before 20 000 years ago.
Kweku Yamoah, our most recent project participant and PhD student at Stockholm University, analyses biomarkers in the sediments of Pa Kho and Kumphawapi and is busy collecting sub-recent sediment samples, water samples and plant samples.
Luped one of our drivers has been with us from the start and has driven our equipment safely through most of Thailand, from Bangkok to the northwest and to the northeast, and to the south. Lek is our other driver, who came along two years ago when we worked in southern Thailand. Now he will drive us south in a few days, which means several days of driving from close to the Laos border to close to the border with Malaysia. Luped and Lek are not only our drivers, but are important helpful hands when it comes to loading and unloading the cars, pumping the boats, repairing equipment, getting lunch food, finding the best road-side restaurants, and so much more!
And I am trying to better understand the landscape, which I see with new eyes each time I visit the sites. This is best done by melting into the crowd with a pink Kumphawapi shirt and flowers in my hair.