Greetings, everyone! Last week’s 30th of April, was Walpurgis Eve (Valborg or Sista April in Swedish), in which residents of Uppsala celebrated the arrival of spring in Sweden. According to the Uppsala University website, the annual itinerary goes like this:

  • 10:00  Running the Falls of the Fyris River
  • 11:45  Herring lunch at Uppsala Concert and Congress
  • 14:00  Band Wijkmanska Blecket plays by the University Library
  • 14:45 – 15:59  Uppsala University’s shiny Walpurgis pin is handed out in front of the University Library.
  • 15:00  Donning of the Caps by the University Library
  • 15:05  Orphei Dränger’s concert by the University Library
  • 15:30  Champagne gallop (parties) at the student nations
  • 17:00  Walpurgis ball at Uppsala castle
  • 21:00  Allmänna Sången sing by the Gunilla Bell tower, Uppsala Castle

It was my very first time experiencing Valborg and, although I was late for the boat race in the Fyris River, I was able to watch the band and choir perform, as well as the donning of the caps, and even got this year’s Walpurgis pin!

Uppsala University Library ‘Carolina Rediviva’ (lots of people gathered for the Donning of the caps ceremony)


Uppsala University’s Walpurgis pin (it’s really cute and shiny)


Band Wijkmanska Blecket performing (lively and fun, though the singers had some *ehem* pitch problems)


Orphei Dränger’s choir donning their caps (excellent male choir!)


Since I am not a member of any of the nations yet, I wasn’t able to participate in the big drunken parties afterward. Nevertheless, all in all, fun experience that I’m totally looking forward to repeating next year!

If you’d like to know a bit more the history of this special day, check the links below!




On my last post, I talked about the velvet worm; now, allow me to talk a bit about my second research animal, the common house spider. This animal is known to be easy to maintain and breed, with a high reproductive rate and a short time of embryo development. Furthermore, the genome of the common house spider is available, and the animal is widely used in EvoDevo and Genetics.

Breeding spiders in our lab:

 Spider breeding system: tubular plastic containers covered with foam, containing soil.

(A) Male adult feeding on flies. (B) Female adult guarding one cocoon. (C) Female adult after mating with a male. (D) Female adult guarding two cocoons. (E) Breeding system of banana flies in medium containing banana and moisturized paper tissue.


This week I will take out the eggs from the cocoons to identify the developmental stage each one of them is at, as well as to fix them in alcohol for future experiments.

‘Till next time!