Why this web site ?

Bali, 1998

Since I'm a teenager I'm interested in natural sciences. In 1977, I won the French and the European Philips contest for young scientists and inventors with a report on calcicole lichens from Greece. Then, I left this field since I went to Malaysia and discovered underwater life.

This web site is a way to share the pleasure of exploring this life.
A way, to have a richer experience is to increase our knowledge. That's why I try to take pictures and identify what I've seen. Species identification made on the basis of a picture is usualy not very reliable, but, by itself, working on the identification of specimens is gratifying: learning helps to a better understanding of "Nature" and gives the opportunity to meet new people.

My main interest is in molluscs. I'm a member of the board of the Belgium malacological society (SBM*). Why Belgium as I'm French ? Because there is no similar structure in France. The SBM publishes a very serious magazine in English, Novapex ; organizes meetings in Brussels every three weeks and twice a year, field trips.
* only in French

The first personel project I'm trying to achieve is to make an illustrated list of the marine gastropods & bivalves I found in Perhentian islands and Tenggol, Malaysia. Almost all the shells have been identified but a lot of pictures are still missing, it's coming !

Then, I would like to take pictures of the freshwater species collected in Lithuania in 2004. As most species are microshells, I need the body of a digital camera to fix on the microscope, the Olympus C-750 I've got doesn't work this way.

The last two years I was in Mozambique, you will find here pictures of the trip and underwater photos.

For one year now I try to focus on pelagic gastropods. I'll give a talk on this subject at the December 16th meeting of the SBM in Brussels, Belgium.

Mozambique, 2006
I would like to thank all those who helped me with a special thought for Annie who reviewed the ID of the marine Malaysian species and house me each time I'm in Brussels ; Roland for his help on Muricidae of course, but also his kindness ; Ralph, Marcel, Jacques... Pierre lozouet and the MNHN team ; Fiona McIntosh for the her underwater photos, the members of Conch-l, more particularly Tom, and all this fantastic community of people addicted to the study of molluscs !

Last update 14/11/06
© Copyright 2006 Sophie Valtat