Bournemouth University MSc Student Placements South Africa Research Internship with Global Volunteers International (GVI) Working closely with a team of dedicated conservationists within the South African bushveld, I partook in conducting valuable research on the dynamics of a relatively small game reserve. This involved developing tracking skills, where dominant predators were tracked using radio telemetry, […]
Ash trees and antelopes on the brink of extinction Published on 14/09/2017 Scientists warn once-common species are disappearing faster than they can be counted as North America’s ash trees join the IUCN’s list of endangers species due to the threat of an invasive beetle species. The IUCN list now included more than 25,000 species at […]
Wessex Portal Public Engagement The Wessex portal team have been involved with an array of public engagement events. These were led by Professor Genoveva Esteban and two research assistants Katie Thompson and Jack Dazley. As our site features a variety of interests, from local to global environmental sciences, we showcased different themes around these events. […]
The Pollinator Exchange is a knowledge exchange portal created to provide people with an active interest in supporting pollinators in towns and cities with the information they need. It was developed at Bournemouth University as a reaction to two observations.
Firstly, as pollinators continue to decline in rural areas, there has been an increasing emphasis on the potential of towns, cities and other built-up areas to provide high-quality pollinator habitat. This interest has been fuelled by recent research that shows greater abundances of bumblebees, and higher production of wildflowers, in private gardens compared to traditional rural habitats.
Secondly, while knowledge about urban pollinators continues to emerge, it is not always shared with those who rely on it to make informed management decisions. A lack of access to scientific journals, for instance, can preclude valuable research from having a real impact on the ground.
It is our hope that the Pollinator Exchange will help facilitate communication and knowledge exchange between local councils, NGOs, private gardeners, scientists, ecological consultants and anyone else wanting to improve our towns and cities for the benefit of wild pollinators.
On Tuesday 6th February, Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) joined the SAMARCH (Salmonid Management round the Channel) team in search of sea trout in the river Frome. The five year EU Interreg Channel Programme funded project (2017-2022) will track juvenile salmon and juvenile and adult sea trout through four English and French estuaries to fill the gaps in our knowledge of how quickly fish migrate through intertidal habitat, their migration pathways and where adult sea trout spend time at sea. Currently, 95% of our salmon and sea trout die at sea, compared to only 75% in the 1970s. The project aims to answer the question of what proportion of this mortality occurs in estuaries and coastal waters compared to the open sea by using small acoustic and data storage tags. The project includes 10 partners from France and England who are a blend of research and regulatory organisations, and key stakeholders (Bournemouth University, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, University of Exeter, INRA Science & Impact, Environment Agency, Salmon and Trout Conservation, Agro Campus, Agence française pour la biodiversité, Normandie grands migrateurs, Obersvatoire des poissons migrateurs Bretagne).
Bournemouth University PhD researcher Alice Hall from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) launched a ‘Hengistbury Head Ecological Enhancement project’ last month (January 2018). In order to improve the marine life on the groynes at Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth University in connection with Hengistbury Head Visitors centre are creating artificial rockpools on the rock groynes at Hengistbury Head. The year 4 school children from St. Katharine’s Primary School, Southbourne have helped design the features which will be used to create the artificial rock pools. Once the rockpools are installed the general public and school children will have the opportunity to monitor the pools and help us monitor the marine life which comes to live in the pools.
The aims of this project are:
To engage people with marine life associated with artificial structures and to increase the frequency of visitor interactions.
To educate primary school children on the marine life associated with artificial structures and ways to enhance the ecology on the structures
Artificial rockpool construction at Hengistbury Head:
3D model designs created by students from St. Katharine’s Primary School:
Deforestation, encroachment and climate change are causing wide-scale disturbance of tropical forests, impacting the carbon cycle and causing the extinction of forest-dependent species. LEAP investigates how tropical deforestation and degradation affect ecosystem stability, species’ survival, and carbon pools.
To develop methods for rapid assessment of forest structure and relate this to carbon stocks stored in tree biomass and habitat quality for keystone species.
For more information on how to get involved, current projects, publications and more about the team then follow this link: LEAP
The Poole Harbour Study Group was founded in 1997 by a group of individuals interested in the recording of wildlife and other biological and scientific aspects of Poole Harbour.
Objectives of the group
To further the study of the physical and biological interests of Poole Harbour, by:
Maintaining a database and archive of studies of Poole Harbour;
Undertaking and encouraging further Harbour studies;
Acting as a centre for advice and information on the harbour;
Publishing studies and holding seminars and conferences;
Maintaining close links with the Dorset Environmental records Centre and other bodies with an interest in the harbour.
Members of the Study Group have interests in birds, marine life, plants and vegetation communities, nutrient cycles, erosion and sedimentation and history of the Harbour. The PHSG is not affiliated to any statutory, commercial or charitable organisation. PHSG members are private individuals and from universities, RSPB, English Nature, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency.
The group acts to centralise and encourage the dissemination of knowledge about the Harbour. but remains neutral about planning and other issues involving Poole Harbour.
In delivering these roles the PHSG remains objective, dispassionate and outside the political arena through which decisions must be made on the uses of the Harbour or restrictions on uses. The PHSG is not a pressure group and does not seek particular aims relating to conservation or development. Rather it seeks to encourage objective study and contribute to the usefulness and accessibility of the knowledge which can inform such decisions.
For more information visit their website here: PHSG
Provide novel information on the survival and migration of young salmon and sea trout in four estuaries of the Channel area
Provide novel information on the movements and swimming depths of adult sea trout in the Channel
Create a genetic data base for trout on both sides of the Channel
Create a map of areas that are important for sea trout in the Channel based on sea scape
Provide new information to further improve the models used in England and France to manage their salmonid stocks
Train students in the management of coastal and transitional waters
Engage with stakeholders throughout the project
Inform current and develop new policies for the better management of salmonid stocks in our coastal and transitional waters
Although the project involves working on a number of rivers in the Channel area, the majority of the data collection and research will focus on the five salmon and sea trout “Index” rivers in the Channel area. These are the rivers Frome and Tamar in the south of England and the Scorff, Oir and Bresle in northern France.
The project includes 10 partners from France and England who are a blend of research and regulatory organisations, and key stakeholders:
We often collaborate with professional practitioners and this fusion fosters potential for the work having immediate practical benefits as well as being an inspiring way to learn. This website invites you to look at the work we do and connect with the people involved.
PhD student at Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences
Hunter N. Hines is a Ph.D. student working on microbial ecology, focusing on the biogeography and biodiversity of ciliates, a large and diverse group of single-celled eukaryotic organisms. He is conducting research into ciliate communities found in the tropical aquatic ecosystems present in Florida, USA, such as freshwater ponds. His research to date has included the identification of several novel flagship species; some being first records out of Africa, and/or first records for the Americas.
The recent discoveries of ‘flagship’ ciliates in new locations and also several species of ciliates which are perhaps new to science are the current focus of his research which will include intensive sampling leading to detailed ecological and morphological investigations, with molecular work also ongoing.
PhD student at Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences
My PhD entitled “The Ecology and Ecological Enhancement of Artificial Coastal Structures” examines the communities associated with coastal artificial structures and trials ways in which we can improve the habitat provided for marine organisms. I have studied the benthic communities associated with wooden and rock groynes, the impacts artificial structures have on the surrounding fish communities and the connectivity of larvae dispersal between natural and artificial habitats. My ecological enhancement trials have included increasing the surface texture of rock armour and monitoring artificial rockpools (VertipoolsTM) on seawalls.
MRes student at Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences
Lagoons are a rare ecosystem in the UK and occur on just 5.3% of Europe’s coastline. The lagoonal environment is highly variable and salinity and temperature can change dramatically over a small spatial scale. Consequently, the fauna associated with lagoons is well adapted to surviving such extreme conditions.
When lagoons are man-made and within an urban setting, there is a need for careful management to reduce issues that affect the local public and their attitudes towards the lagoon. Poole Park boating lake is one such example, and has suffered macroalgal blooms that interfere with boat use, swarms of midges, and persistent eggy smells. This research will comprehensively map the distribution of Poole Park lagoon’s benthic invertebrates and determine the environmental factors influencing their distribution, including salinity, particle size and organic matter content. The lagoon specialist starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis will be focused on given its protected and cryptic status within the UK. The spatial distribution of the non-native Australian tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus will be mapped and the interaction of its calcareous reef structure with the native fauna will be investigated using sampling of the reef itself and in-situ video footage.
The results from this data will inform an overall assessment of Poole Park lagoon’s ecosystem health and inform suggested management measures. It will also add to the current data for the non-native Australian tubeworm’s distribution in the UK, its effect in one it’s rarest ecosystems, and its interaction with its equally rare fauna.