BUG: Bournemouth University Global Environmental Solutions

BU Global Environmental Solutions (BUG) is a consulting arm of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University, located within the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences. They provide a unique blend of academic and practical expertise to address global ecological issues; developing sustainable solutions to support industry and regulators alike.

BUG’s core staff are internationally recognised leaders in their respective fields of research and, supported by a comprehensive laboratory and field monitoring capability, we provide our clients with a ‘one-stop-shop’ for ecological monitoring and scientific advisory services. Our holistic approach to ecosystem assessment covers terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and coastal environments.

For more information, visit their website: BUG

Department of Life and Environmental Science receives Gold award for Green Impact

BU’s Department of Life and Environmental Science (LES) has received a Gold award for Green Impact, after taking part in the Green Impact challenge back in 2015.

Green Impact Universities and Colleges is an environmental accreditation and awards scheme delivered by the NUS, in partnership with the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

It aims to empower people and their departments to take action on sustainability and reward them for their environmental efforts within their workplace. 

The award covers measurable actions relating to topics around sustainability – including communication, travel, recycling, and energy – and the number of actions completed correlates to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. 

Main activities included promoting the opportunities that BU offers staff to enhance sustainability, such as water saving, Green Week, and sustainable travel; and the identification and documentation of the five most significant negative environmental impacts and suggestions for solutions in the coming year. 

We would like to congratulate the team and the department on this for their hard work and persistence over the last 4 years.

Family Science Festival

Family Science Festival

We are excited to announce that on Sunday 17th March 2019 we will be hosting the first Family Science Festival in Dorchester.

We have invited scientists to bring a range of interactive activities. Bring along all the family and check out the pop-up museum, handle bugs, observe living microbes, augment your reality, identify fossils, and much more!

The event is suitable for all ages, with open access and free entry

The festival will run from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm at The Corn Exchange, Dorchester

If you have any further questions please contact us via email:
Professor Genoveva Esteban gesteban@borunemouth.ac.uk or Katie Thomspon  thompsonk@bournemouth.ac.uk 

Fusion

Fusion

BU2025: A new vision

Bournemouth University 2025 (BU2025) vision has been released. BU2025 is the next step in BU’s development, building on our success. We have retained the core of what makes BU different, and the culture and approach that our students and staff value.

Our values

Excellence
We strive for excellence in everything that we do.

Inclusivity
We value and respect diversity and act to ensure that we are inclusive.

Creativity
We are imaginative, innovative and create solutions to problems.

Responsibility
We take responsibility for the impact of our actions and focus our activity as a learning community on making a positive contribution to society.

Fusion themes

Fusion themes for BU2025 are the following:

• Business & Economic Sustainability

• Digital & Technological Futures

• Environment, Culture & Heritage

• Global Security

• Health & Wellbeing

To find out more about BU2025 including outcomes and strategic plans, you can visit Bournemouth University online or view the pdf leafet here: BU2025

What is the DCDA?

What is the DCDA?

The DCDA is an extensive archive, hosting a great diversity of photographs, newspaper articles, aerial images and historical maps of the Dorset coast as far back as 1740. This work is a centrepiece for knowledge exchange on how areas have developed over time through a visual representation. The archive promotes information and an understanding of how the Dorset coast has changed over time, including how the coastal morphology has evolved, how biodiversity has changed and how settlements and society have developed. The archive contains over 20,000 images, which have been grouped into the following categories:

Physical changes to the Coast

Dorset’s coastal and marine habitats include some of Britain’s rarest species, but also a wide range of more common species. Maritime heathlands, salt marsh, estuaries, cliffs and landslides, lagoons, rocky shores, sand beaches and dunes, submarine rock ledges and gravel banks together form a very diverse and productive ecosystem. Most of what we know comes from charts, divers and underwater photography.

Settlements and Society

Maps and estate plans in the archive record the growth of settlements on the coast from the sixteenth century onwards. Most large estates were established by the sixteenth century. Medieval legal cases explain some of these patterns of growth. The sea’s presence affects the suitability of sites for occupation and development. Marine commerce and trade have been important throughout this coast’s history.

Managing the coast

Dorset’s marine and coastal environments are its principal environmental and economic assets. The sea is used for tourism and recreation, fisheries, education, mineral extraction, transport and waste disposal. These all have impacts on Dorset’s marine environment. With increasing pressure on the coast, management of Dorset’s marine resources is a constant challenge.

The main categories have been broken down into further groups to enhance the accessibility of the images. The archive will promote information and an understanding of how the Dorset coast has changed over time, including how the coastal morphology has evolved, how biodiversity has changed, and how society and settlements have developed. The collaboration with the Wessex Portal and Channel Coast Observatory has made it possible for this fantastic resource to be accessible online, available to a wider audience. The project has been led by the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University, and funded by the Valentine Charitable Trust. We hope that this archive will be a valuable tool for teaching and to the public’s viewing pleasure and personal research into their local past.

The full DCDA is now hosted on the Channel Coast Observatory website and can be accessed by this link: DCDA

Sample images can be found in the Gallery and on our social media sites

Any questions regarding the project can be addressed to:Professor Genoveva Esteban gesteban@bournemouth.ac.uk
Research Assistant Katie Thompson kthompson@bournemouth.ac.uk

Monitoring macroinvertebrates and diatom populations in East Stoke, Dorset

As part of a long term, collaborative research project between BU and the FBA, PhD researcher Tadhg Carrol and BU research assistant Jack Dazley have been assisting freshwater biologist John Davy-Bowker in sampling two rivers in East Stoke, Dorset for aquatic macroinvertebrates (such as insect larvae, aquatic worms and water beetles) and diatoms (microscopic plants with a glass-like ‘shell’). The research aims to understand how environmental changes, such as increased temperature and altered riverbed composition, affect the abundance and species diversity of these groups.

Samples were collected from 5 sites at each river – the Frome and the Piddle, where a square sampling area 10m wide was set up from each bank. Macroinvertebrates were collected using the kick sampling method (pictured), whereby the person sampling would rigorously kick the river bed, exposing mud and stones, and with them the invertebrates, which flow into the net. Environmental measurements were also taken, and included width and depth of the site, percentage cover of each species of aquatic plant, and substrate composition of the riverbed (i.e. what types of rocks/stones are present). Once collected, the samples were preserved to allow identification at a later date.

Diatoms were also collected from each site, and were done so by collecting 5 large stones (one from each corner of the site and one from the centre) which had clearly visible signs of algae growing on them, such as green mats on the surface. Using a toothbrush, a section of the green mat was scrubbed off into a plastic tray to collect the diatoms, and to work out the abundance the scrubbed area was traced onto acetate. The diatoms were preserved to be analysed at the lab.

Alongside collecting macroinvertebrates and diatoms, careful note was taken in the Piddle upon the capture and rerelease of protected species, including bullhead fish and white clawed crayfish. These native crayfish are particularly monitored as they are susceptible to diseases carried by the non-native signal crayfish. Infact, the Piddle is thought to be one of the only sites in Dorset where the white clawed crayfish is relatively abundant.

This project is incredibly important to understanding the future of river communities from a bottom up perspective – diatoms and macroinvertebrates form the basis of the food chain in river ecosystems, and so support larger freshwater organisms such as fish and birds.

Lake Oleiden: A Biodiversity Hotspot in Kenya

Whilst in Kenya, one project that the team was carrying out was an ecological survey of freshwater microbes in several different locations across Kenya, and whether the diversity of microbes correlated at all with the diversity of animals species seen. One such location which was sampled was Lake Oleiden, which proved to be a hotspot for wildlife.

Lake Oleiden is located next to the much larger Lake Naivasha, from which it has recently separated, and is slightly saline in nature. The lakes are home to many fish species, a whole host of water birds, and hippopotamus. The water samples collected showed that the lake is rich in phytoplankton (microscopic plants) and many species of flagellates, tiny single-celled organisms which use a tail-like appendage called a flagellum to move around in the water. Flagellates and phytoplankton are important sources of food for tiny invertebrates such as water fleas and copepods, which are in turn eaten by small fish.

Just a small sample of the waterbird species seen: great white pelican, pink-backed pelican, long-tailed cormorant and great cormorant

As a result, there was an incredible diversity of fish-eating bird species, with over 10 different species of bird seen on the lake. There were two species of cormorant seen, and they had established several nesting sites at the banks of the lake, supporting one of the largest congregations of these birds in the country, according to our local guide. Also present were several flocks of great white pelican (pictured within a multi-species community with cormorants and gulls), which were seen feeding alongside terns, gulls and a pair of pied kingfisher, which we were lucky enough to see hunting for fish. At the shore of the lake were a variety of herons and storks including the little egret, marabou stork, yellow-billed stork and the black heron, which has an ingenious hunting strategy, using its wings as shade, attracting fish for it to catch. The lake is also home to the impressive African fish eagles, seen swooping to catch fish from the water’s surface.

This great diversity can be sourced back to the microbes. They provide food for tiny invertebrates which are in turn consumed by the fish in the lake. And of course it is the fish which attract the birds to the area, promising a rich source of food, and by extension, a suitable breeding ground for several species.

Manure moving day

On the 4th April, we were able to start loading all the boys cubicles with the manure that had been collected earlier in March. All 10 IBC containers in the boys cubicles had been secures and piping attached. 1000 litres of both cow and goat manure had been collected and left for microbial reactions to take place, where methane bubbles were being produced. It is essential that we loaded some of the containers with the manure so that the microbial reaction that causes the methane to be produced could be kick started. Take a look here:

Turd nerds assemble

During the first few days at the school, both the art project and toilet construction excelled rapidly:

Toilet project:

  • In each cubicle of the boys toilets, the holes for each toilet seat were cut out and seats were installed
  • All 10 IBC containers were moved into the lower tier of the toilet structure and piping was attached

Eco-art project:

  • All sponsored doors had a white base coat, and designs were drawn on and painted
  • Teachers at the school designed a mural for the toilets around that themes that had meaning to them

 

Many hands make light work

On the 28th March, the UK volunteer team arrived at in Kenya ready to get involved with the toilet project. The initial visit to the school and arrival included working with a group of older students to make devices that will increase the surface area within the digestion tanks. These devices will act as additional surface for the microbes within the digestion tank to attach to.