Daniella Damm

Daniella Damm

I’m a third year student at Otago studying Botany and Marine Science. I was born and raised in ?tautahi and have spent a lot of time in Banks Peninsula, and now due to my studies, in Dunedin. I stumbled upon a focus in bryophytes on my first botany field trip when John mentioned the extra bryophyte and lichen labs he ran, and I jumped at the chance! I’ve always marvelled in the beauty of mosses (something which probably stems from my mother’s interest in them. We would always point out particularly lichen-covered twigs and mossy vignettes – drawn to the unique textures, shapes and colours. My mother is a florist and interior designer, so our house was always full of flowers and those lichen-covered branches.) but I’d never really looked so closely at them before. As beautiful as they are in abundance in the environment, they have a whole new beauty under the microscope- it highlights their great variety too. It has been such a pleasure practising keying them out, learning their features and the vocabulary. I’d have to say my ultimate happy place is swimming in the ocean or in a mossy forest. Learning more about bryophytes has definitely heightened my appreciation of them.