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

 

Pee power (urine-tricity) joins poo power!

Researchers from Bristol University are now working with Akamba Children Education Fund, installing microbial fuel cell technology to generate electricity from urine. This is a massive step in the project, as we will now be generating power from both urine and poo. The microbial fuel cells work by feeding on urine (the fuel) using the biochemical energy that is generated and converted directly into electricity. All that is needed to generate this power is the waste product, making it a sustainable green technology solution. The combination of biogas production, and using microbial fuel cells to use urine and mud to generate power makes the project unique.

Hengistbury Head Garden Competition

Win your own garden BioBlitz!

Alongside the 2018 Great Wildlife Expedition (at Hengistbury Head on June 9th), Hengistbury Head are offering you the chance to have a BioBlitz in your own garden!

The winner of our Great Wildlife Garden Competition will have a team of experts take over their outdoor space on June 16th.

Using detectors, hand lenses and lots of books, the team will identify bats, mammals, moths, birds and plants that live in, or visit your garden. You will be able to spend time with the team and learn the difference between the species that thrive on the work you have done to make your garden a place for nature.

The team will show you where to go to record your finds, adding these species to Bournemouth’s wildlife map. There will also be a talented local film maker who will capture the day, the activities and the excitement of identifying the plants and creatures that live in your garden.

To enter, use the entry form to tell us about your garden, your household, and any wildlife that you have seen in, or nearby, your garden. Please send your entry via email: hengistbury.head@bournemouth.gov.uk

Closing date: 30th April 2018 (Winner will be chosen by the Hengistbury Head Ranger team)

Terms and conditions apply – see poster for details.

3D Modelling of Toilet Structure

The images below showcase a few 3D model stills (using Sketchup) which were created by one of the eco-toilet team. The model highlights the scale of the project with different angles of the structure. This is the first idea of how the structure will look like once completed. The front of the unit will feature a mural themed around environmental conservation. Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson will lead this with the help of two undergraduate students.

Dorset Coast Digital Archive

The Dorset Coast Digital Archive 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 original three 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 four 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 Department of Life and Environmental Sciences 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 digital archive can now be found via the Channel Coast Observatory:

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

Pollinator Exchange “An information resource to help us support pollinators in our towns and cities”

Pollinator Exchange “An information resource to help us support pollinators in our towns and cities”

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.

Find out more about the project here: Pollinator exchange 

Hengistbury Head Ecological Enhancement Project

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:

  1. To engage people with marine life associated with artificial structures and to increase the frequency of visitor interactions.
  2. 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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information contact Alice Hall on: ahall@bournemouth.ac.uk

Hunter N. Hines

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.

Research links: ResearchGate

Supervisor: Professor Genoveva Esteban 

New Ichthyosaur Display at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

Photo credit: Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre will be opening a new display (14th January 2018) of the incredible ichthyosaur that starred in the BBC documentary ‘Attenborough and the Sea Dragon’. The fossil was discovered by local fossil collector Chris Moore. The centre has free entry and is on the beach at Charmouth, one of the best areas to collect fossils on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.  Visit the centre and discover how the pieces of this 200 millions year old murder mystery were pieces together, and take part in guided fossil hunting walks.

British Science Association are looking for Volunteers in new Bournemouth Branch

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: British Science Association

The British Science Association are currently in the process of launching a new volunteer branch in Bournemouth, and we are looking for enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers to be part of the branch!

This is a perfect opportunity to get involved in organising innovative and exciting events which engage the public with science. If you’re interested, please use the contact link below:

Volunteer form