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Meet the Rough Scientists

Diary: Vanessa Griffiths

Day 3:

It seems that I was worrying unnecessarily, they're all normal!

me and Mike B

Mike B. is a chemist and looks like one. He is white-haired and impish and you can just imagine test-tubes bubbling over with coloured liquids inside his head.

He will be a great bloke to have around, he seems to know loads and is full of enthusiasm and energy – he even knows how to have fun, always giggling or up to something. He has already started to discuss and plan projects with myself and Anna. He's definitely going to be one of the girls!

Anna and meAnna is an ethno-botanist. I'm not entirely sure what that is but it sounds like an excellent job. She travels the world meeting with native peoples to discuss how they use plants in their everyday lives. Food, clothing, medicines, fuel, tools and even make-up; plants seem to be used for everything. I suppose I knew that but I'd never stopped to think just how important they are.

She is full of interesting facts about which plants have been used historically and the methods employed to extract and prepare useful substances. She has even written a book about plants for people and is optimistic that we can put the island's plants to good use. She is desperate to start exploring to see what's here. I picture her skipping through fields collecting leaves and flowers in a wicker basket and bringing us cups of herbal tea.

Mike hammeringThe lads on the other hand are already arguing and designing contraptions to pinpoint our position. Mike L. is a virologist and ex-mechanic. He is strong and practical….in a Rambo kind of way. He likes to chop and saw and sweat but only if he's sure we're all watching – not quite the Latino I had in mind, but damn useful.

He has done some research work in the past on ticks and is now intent on telling us gruesome stories about the diseases they can spread, how big they can swell up when feeding, and about his mate who got infested. He is always on the look out for ticks and likes to make sure we all know about it if there are some around. He manages to really get to Anna, he winds her up until she's paranoid she has ticks crawling up her legs and is near hysteria.

JonathanJonathan is a physicist and a fantastic inventor. He has a mad inventor's air about him, always confident that his latest brain-wave will work. Kate thinks he is just like Wallace (of Wallace and Grommit fame!) He is a bit quieter than Mike but just as determined, he listens to what Mike has to say and then just carries on with his own idea!

Jon and Mike working togetherI don't know how they will get on and whether their scribbled designs will amount to anything – they seem to spend most time talking incessantly at each other, neither listening to a word the other says. Having said that, they seem to be getting somewhere with pinpointing our longitude and latitude, they've been racing around a lot and Jonathan's radio looks very impressive, although it's not quite working yet!