It’s a far stretch from our imaginations to see a campaign by WWF to ‘Save the diatoms’ in place of the ever so cute and much adored panda, for example, however much credit is due to these tiny photosynthesising single-celled organisms as they account for over 1/4 of the world’s oxygen alone. (One study showed that: tropical rainforest fix c. 17.8%; savannas 16.8%, the cultivated areas: 8%; diatoms 23.5%).
It’s common for the animated, super cute and fluffy animals to take the limelight but when all is said and done you (along with said cute and fluffy animals) wouldn’t be able to breathe without our much overlooked diatom friends.
So now that you know just how important diatoms are; I would like to introduce you to our V Factor team who have begun their work in earnest to help collate and digitise the diatom collection of Thomas Comber, housed here at the Natural History Museum in London.
Our Diatomists in the making: (see V Factor team for more information on 'maintainers','editors' and 'contributors')