It’s #MarineMonday and we would like to introduce you to our marine friend.
“Colour me in so I can swim!
Hello! I’m an #Axolotl. There’s aren’t many of me left in the wild. I don’t really like water pollution where I live. I just love to swim and I’m very well adapted. I have a very cool skill: I can’t regrow my own limbs! I have some questions for you to find out…
•🏡 Where do I live? • 🍽 What do I eat? •💚 How can you help me and my friends?
As a bonus question, see if you can find pictures of what my babies look like!”
Women’s Day 2020: Life
and Environmental Science Researchers
Dr Catherine Gutmann Roberts is a postdoctoral researcher in fish
migration ecology. Postdoc researching migration ecology and phenology across a
range of taxa, but with a keen interest in freshwater and diadromous fishes.
She is interested in all aspects of aquatic ecology and conservation, enjoys
working with citizen scientists (anglers) to collect data and samples. She also
has a passion for science communication and public engagement in research.
Victoria Dominguez Almela is assessing the
‘dispersal-enhancing’ traits of non-native fish species in their invasion range to quantify the importance of trait plasticity in driving
natural rates of diffusion. Progress to date has included completion of
swimming performance using flume tanks (as shown in the picture) and functional
response experiments. Results are promising, but work is still in progress!
Professor Amanda Korstjens and her mother pictured here, who was 78 years
young when she went to Indonesia on a Student Environment Research Team (SERT) training trip with Bournemouth University
students. Her research topics include: I. How climate and human disturbance
influence primate distribution patterns and survival; 2. Eco-tourism,
conservation, disease transmission and human-wildlife conflicts; 3. The
evolution of mating strategies and female sexual signals, esp. in red colobus
monkeys. You can find all her brilliant research activities on the Landscape
Ecology and Primatology (LEAP) website: https://go-leap.wixsite.com/home
Professor Anita Diaz and some of the
Purbeck Wildlife Student Environment Research Team (SERT) are based at Bournemouth
University. The SERT project helps research what habitat management most helps wildlife
conservation on the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve. It runs each year,
mentored by Anita Diaz and working in close collaboration with the National
Trust. They also collaborate with a range of other conservation organisations
including the RSPB and Back from the Brink.
Nature Volunteers website https://www.naturevolunteers.uk/ is a HEIF funded project
that connects people wishing to volunteer to help nature with volunteering opportunities
offered by conservation organisations all over the UK. It is also a research
tool that helps us, and conservation organisations understand what people who
are new to nature volunteering are looking for and what encourages their
Dr Alice Hall is a postdoctoral researcher
working at Bournemouth University. She specializes in marine biology and
ecological engineering. Her work focuses on building multifunctional structures
which can perform their primary function and also provide suitable habitat for
marine life. She is currently working on
an Interreg Atlantic Project called 3DPARE which is 3D printing concrete
artificial reef units for use in the Atlantic region.
Katie Thompson is doctoral researcher
in African Elephant conservation. Her research focuses on ecosystem level
conservation environmental education and sustainable development. Ultimately,
she aims to use this knowledge to facilitate improving long term management of
wildlife and their natural habitats, through high impact research and outreach
Professor Genoveva Esteban’s research
interests focus on biodiversity at the microbial level in order to understand
and predict the functioning of aquatic systems by characterising microbial
biodiversity at local and regional scales, and by defining the role played by
microbes in the natural environment and food webs. Her research is two fold:
(1) she leads a successful programme that aims to link science with
conservation through research on `cryptic’ biodiversity in freshwater
ecosystems; (2) characterisation at molecular and morphological levels of the
rare aquatic microbial consortia that thrive in wet woodlands, some being new
species to science. She is also a dynamic Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador.
Jessica Bone is a marine biologist and
Research Assistant for the Marineff project and based at Bournemouth University
(UK) where she also studied both my Bachelors and Masters degrees in marine
ecology. She has enjoyed the interdisciplinary element of Marineff as it has
given her the opportunity to learn more about engineering and materials science
which has complemented my contributions in designing the Marineff pool. She is
also responsible for the Marineff newsletter. Having grown up and studied on
the south coast of the UK, she champions British marine wildlife and has a soft
spot for the intertidal invertebrates. She is also a secretary for the Poole
Harbour Study Group.
IMPORTANT EVENT UPDATE: Family Science Fair has been postponed until further notice. If you have any questions please contact us directly.
This year, admittance to the Family Science Fair on 15 March will be by ticket only.
Tickets are FREE and can be obtained by going to the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre in person to collect (this is located in the Dorchester Library, Charles Street, DT1 1EE).
There will be 2 time slots available – from 1pm-3pm and from 3pm-5pm.
Tickets will be available from 15 Feb on a first come first served basis – keep an eye on here for updates!
In addition, the bug and exotic animal handling activity with World-Life will also require a ticket – which can be obtained when you collect a ticket for the Family Science Fair.
Due to high demand for this event we sincerely ask that if you collect a ticket but then are unable to go, that you return it to the Tourist Information Centre or pass it onto someone who is able to attend.
You will need your ticket on the day, to be admitted to the Family Science Fair.
We look forward to seeing you on the day – and have some brilliant activities lined up for you!
“Short-distance dispersal enables introduced alien species to colonise and invade local habitats following their initial introduction, but is often poorly understood for many freshwater taxa. Knowledge gaps in range expansion of alien species can be overcome using predictive approaches such as individual based models (IBMs), especially if predictions can be improved through fitting to empirical data, but this can be challenging for models having multiple parameters. We therefore estimated the parameters of a model implemented in the RangeShifter IBM platform by approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) in order to predict the further invasion of a lowland river (Great Ouse, England) by a small-bodied invasive fish (bitterling Rhodeus sericeus). Prior estimates for parameters were obtained from the literature and expert opinion. Model fitting was conducted using a time-series (1983 to 2018) of sampling data at fixed locations and revealed that for 5 of 11 model parameters, the posterior distributions differed markedly from prior assumptions. In particular, sub-adult maximum emigration probability was substantially higher in the posteriors than priors. Simulations of bitterling range expansion predicted that following detection in 1984, their early expansion involved a relatively high population growth rate that stabilised after 5 years. The pattern of bitterling patch occupancy was sigmoidal, with 20% of the catchment occupied after 20 years, increasing to 80% after 30 years. Predictions were then for 95% occupancy after 69 years. The development of this IBM thus successfully simulated the range expansion dynamics of this small-bodied invasive fish, with ABC improving the simulation precision. This combined methodology also highlighted that sub-adult dispersal was more likely to contribute to the rapid colonisation rate than expert opinion suggested. These results emphasise the importance of time-series data for refining IBM parameters generally and increasing our understanding of dispersal behaviour and range expansion dynamics specifically.”
Are you ready for the #BigGardenBirdWatch taking place on 25-27 Jan. You can Sign-up today and get access to Big Garden Extra. Here you can access exclusive articles, downloads and celebrity interviews. Watch this video to find out more:
Share your sustainable ideas and real-world solutions at our Living Labs roadshows.
BU is launching its ‘Living Labs’ initiative with two roadshow events that all staff – both academic and professional & support – and students are invited to.
Living Labs embeds sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. Within a BU context they are an opportunity for staff and students to research and test sustainable solutions to real-world challenges using our facilities on campus.
Current examples of Living Labs are the vegan menu offers in the Terrace Café or the honeybee colony that live on top of the Fusion Building. Another is the Biodome which provides a year-round controlled climate so research can be carried out, and offers a permanent base for students and staff to conduct experiments into a range of forensic, ecological and wildlife projects.
The Living Labs roadshows are being held as we want to find out about all the brilliant ideas and concepts we know our staff and students have. Whether you have an idea for a new product or marketing campaign or would like to use data from the university grounds themselves for research, we want to hear from you.
The roadshows will introduce the Living Labs concept and share successful Living Labs projects at BU. The event will involve presentations from those who have been involved with past projects, in addition to a collaborative workshop to suggest, discuss and maybe start a new project. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet and innovate with members of the BU community.
There will be a replica roadshow Wednesday 11 December in CG11, Talbot Campus for those who cannot attend.
Bournemouth University is pleased to host the 16th Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference (YCSEC) on the 6th-7th April 2020. This annual conference brings together early career researchers and practitioners (such as PhD students, Post-Doc researchers and recently qualified professionals) from a variety of different disciplines, all concerned with the physical and biological processes within the coastal environment. In the past, this has included presentations on a diverse selection of topics, such as, but not limited to: marine renewables, impact of flooding and climate change, coastal erosion and morphological modelling, and effects of pollution.
YCSEC provides a unique opportunity for leading young coastal scientists and engineers working in academia and industry, to present their work and network with their peers in an informal setting. The conference incorporates presentations, along with opportunities to network and socialise, with an optional field trip.
Who Should Attend?
This conference welcomes post-graduate researchers (MSc and PhD Students), post-doctoral researchers, and those who consider themselves to be early career researchers. Junior practitioners working in both the public or private sector are also encouraged to attend. The interdisciplinary audience and subject area is designed to promote integration and research connections between scientists and engineers associated with coastal research and practice.
We are keen to highlight that not all of us are ‘young’ and that there is no age restriction for attendance at this conference.
YCSEC is renowned for providing a welcoming and supporting environment to present and discuss research. It is a great opportunity to interact with a small community of researchers, allowing you to expand your knowledge and network.
Extended Abstract Deadline
The call for abstracts has been extended to the 13th January so there is still time to apply.
Stepping into Nature aims to help people be happier and healthier by connecting with nature.
This 3-year project funded by the National Community Fund uses Dorset’s natural and cultural landscape to provide activities and sensory rich places for older adults, including those living with dementia and their care partners. Our nature-themed activities – both indoors and out – help people find new places to go, learn new skills and meet like-minded people.
Stepping into Nature’s main areas of activity are:
Working with local organisations such as Dorset Wildlife Trust, Dorset Forest School and Dorset History Centre to support and fund the delivery of inclusive activities inspired by or within nature.
Providing funding for communities and organisations to help create more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable green spaces.
Training staff and volunteers, particularly those within environmental organisations, to become dementia friendly.
There are some exciting activities you can get involved with throughout January:
Augmented Reality (AR) promises to enrich user experience by enhancing the real-world objects with computer-generated, interactive digital assets. Apart from the entertainment aspect of AR, it now has a growing role in public engagement within natural parks and museums, also in conveying educational elements, especially as most visitors now carry smartphones.
The real-world objects with computer-generated, interactive digital assets. Apart from the entertainment aspect of AR, it now has a growing role in public engagement within natural parks and museums, also in conveying educational elements, especially as most visitors now carry smartphones.
For over two years our team have been developing tailored AR experiences for public engagement, with focus on extinct animals, within the PalaeoGo! project.
During this event they will share the lessons learnt with respect to the limits of current technology, the importance of making the assets realistic, and the ways of engaging the visitors even with a limited investment, to make an AR deployment a success.
The event will consist of three keynotes:
Prof Matthew Bennett – Creating Digital Assets
Peter Truckel – Animating Heritage
Prof Marcin Budka – Delivering The Vision
There will also be a hands-on session where you’re be able to play with various versions of the PalaeoGo! app.