This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series New life

Chapter 11. April 2017 – Kristineberg and future for Ocean Fact




Easter and Mämmi




April is ringing at the door. If you have already travelled to Finland in April, have you tried the Mämmi? This is the typical dessert for Easter celebrations. A kind of molasses made of rye flour and malt. The texture is strange, the color is dubious, the taste is staggering (it looks like poo, it has the color of poop but I prefer not to know if it tastes like it). A little bit of sugar and custard make it easier to swallow. Few Finns appreciate it.

Easter traditions
On the left: Mämmi – Credits: Martin Terber – CC BY-ND 2.0

On the right: Paskris or Feather tree – Credits: Pierre Olivier – Ocean Fact


As for the Mämmi, I have had quite a special experience with this one. The Erasmus association of which I am a member organizes blind dinners. Each one of the guest prepares dishes from his home country and we all tastes them blindfolded. It is a way to become aware of a handicap, such as being blind for example. Of course you don’t know what they are serving on your plate. I was served the pure Mämmi, which I hate (or hated). In my memories, the taste was revolting. Blindfolded, I asked to get some again twice. Then I removed the scarf and realized that it was Mämmi. Surprised and curious, I tried it again … the taste was disgusting again. As a matter of view, many of our perceptions hold only on a few things.

Second MARmaED Annual Meeting




April also marks the time of the year for meetings and reunions. Second Annual Meeting with the MARmaEDs. Heading to Sweden and the Sven Lovén Center of Kristineberg near Gothenburg. We were asked to prepare a somewhat special presentation: a Pecha Kucha. Six minutes 40s. 10s per slide, 20 slides, only pictures and an automatic transition. Better to be ready and to know your slides and your speech by heart. Learning was an exercise I have not done for years as I prefer to know my keywords and improvise. It was a good exercise and it didn’t hurt to perfect my presentation. I spent many hours working on that presentation.

I was also named responsible for leading the MARmaED blog. Indeed, the European commission requires us to write a blog and communicate our work to the public. I will produce a lot of content with my comrades which should bring contents on both platforms: MARmaED and OceanFact. Indeed, we discussed working together between the two platforms: benefits for the two platforms.

Small fact: We found a tennis court where Björn Borg played (or trained). The court was signed with his name.
Then, I had time to visit the aquarium of the marine station and the one of Kristineberg. I discovered a species that I had never heard of and that can be found in the waters near the station: the Pennatulacea or “Seapen” (not to be confused with Sean Penn) are colonial cnidarians, i.e. close cousins of anemones or jellyfish. Inevitably, I had to post an anecdote about it on our Instagram.

The Ocean Fact you might have missed:

Seapen are marine colonial cnidarians (that groups jellyfish, corals, anemones…) One seapen as on the picture is in fact a structured colony of several individuals. They share tasks within the colony with individuals specialized in feeding, others in reproduction. When stressed, they produce a green light by bioluminescence.


I also spent the weekend in Gothenburg. I will let you discover this in pictures (not forgetting to introduce a local artist).
Doing some sightseing, we visited this chocolate factory. It took me about 30 minutes to decide what to buy, so many choices and every sweets seemed delicious.
I leave you the address and pictures below.
  • Chocolate factory - Gothenburg - Sweden - Credits: Pierre Olivier - Ocean Fact
  • Chocolate factory - Gothenburg - Sweden - Credits: Pierre Olivier - Ocean Fact
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I almost forgot! My first scientific article was finally published! The online version, not yet printed, is available on Wiley Publishers website.
The non “Proof” version is available on Research Gate. It contains some typo errors but it’s not that bad.

Time for the traditional local… mu… mu… music !


José González (yes, despite his name, he is from Gothenburg)




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Pierre PhD student - CEO Ocean Fact
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