Fusion Professorial Lecture: Addressing the environmental crisis

With so many reports and news stories about the environmental issues we currently face, including climate change, biodiversity loss and plastic pollution, which problems should cause us most concern and how can we tackle them?

A Bournemouth University (BU) academic will talk at RNLI College on Thursday 13 February to address these issues in the first of a series of free public lectures. BU’s Professor of Marine Biology and Conservation, Rick Stafford, will launch the Fusion Professorial Lecture Series with his talk, ‘Addressing the environmental crisis: from reusable coffee cups to political reform, what really works?’

Rick, from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, said: “It’s vital we address the environmental crisis properly in the very near future. This talk will bring together my research over the last two years and present a timely message that it’s not too late to act, and give a positive vision of what the future could be like if we do.”

Using his research, Rick will demonstrate that plastic pollution is a real threat, but has been overemphasised in order to maintain the economic and political status quo. His findings also show that climate change and biodiversity loss need large systematic changes in economic and political thinking to be successfully tackled, although nature-based solutions such as tree planting and a respect for nature are also important.

Rick will demonstrate the benefits to biodiversity and society of changing our approach to economics, and show that necessary changes will be advantageous to most people, both in developed and developing countries.

Rick added: “It’s very timely, and hopefully it will inspire people to support the necessary changes we need at local, national and international levels.”

The Fusion Professorial Lecture Series is free and open to the public, with six planned throughout the year, and cover a wide range of topics from BU academics.

Rick Stafford’s research began studying rocky shores, and developed into mathematical and computer models of animal behaviour. He currently works on topics as diverse as marine protected areas, fisheries, artificial reefs, as well as climate change and biodiversity loss.

The free to attend lecture takes place on Thursday 13 February, 6:30pm, and is ticketed. You can register for tickets on Eventbrite.

Article source: BU Research Blog

PhD student publication:

Integrating an individual-based model with approximate Bayesian computation to predict the invasion of a freshwater fish provides insights into dispersal and range expansion dynamics

First author Victoria Dominguez Almela has successfully published a paper in the Biological Invasions Journal.

The full link to the journal can be found here:


You can read the abstract here:

“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.”

Read more about Victoria’s research here:

Resourcing the Future for Wildlife in Dorset

Resourcing the Future for Wildlife in Dorset:
Brian Heppenstall, Senior Ranger at BCP council
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 at 13:00 (GMT)

Bringing together conservation organisations and local business

The interest in the future of our wildlife and related environmental issues is driving a great deal of behavioural changes, for example 72% of miliennials are willing to spend more on products from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. In the US, those companies whose employees were given time to undertake charitable environmental work, found that 76% of staff felt better about their employers.

It is no wonder then, that businesses are working to adopt green credentials, visible to both their customer base and their employees, in order to drive success.

Through networking and showcasing, delegates at this conference, will explore problems for local wildlife conservation. There will be a focus on local case studies, and opportunities to seek new collaborations and find potential solutions.

This years key speakers, Dr Anjana Khatwa and Ben Hoare, will address one of the most important resources within any sector – the workforce, and principally the issue of societal representation in the conservation sector.

This conference will therefore look at two strands:

  • Encouraging links between conservation organisations and business to encourage partnerships and the provision of support/resources in the mutual interest of preserving the local environment
  • Employability, skills and diversity within the conservation sector (in Dorset)



 Refreshments available 

The Importance of Wildlife Conservation in Dorset

Professor Rick Stafford – Bournemouth University

The Future Workforce: The Impact of Work Placements

Julie Gill, Placement Coordinator – Bournemouth University

Frances Jenkins, Placement Coordinator – Kingston Maurward College

Case Study, Short Film: Hengistbury Head Placement Scheme

Does Nature Conservation Represent Society

Key Speaker: Ben Hoare, Editorial Consultant, BBC Wildlife Magazine

Privilege and Permission: Being Brown in a White Landscape

Key Speaker: Dr Anjana Khatwa, Learning and Earth Science Specialist

Go Wild – Collaborate!

Introduction by Luke Rake, Principal and CEO of Kingston Maurward College

Nature Volunteers: Matching opportunities with resources

Rachel James, Wild Paths, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Ali Tuckey, Durlston Country Park

Puff Storey, 3 Sided Cube, Tech For Good

Lottie Forte J.P. Morgan, Volunteering and Community Relations

Guest Speaker Panel Q&A

Networking Opportunity and Buffet

A full programme will be published to attendees nearer the conference

Please arrive at 13:00 for a prompt 13:15 start

Refreshments and a buffet dinner will be provided

Pre-booking of parking is required and once the spaces have been booked, no further parking on campus will be available.


For futher information on this event please contact brian.heppenstall@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

 How to get to BU: Directions, parking & maps

 Accommodation: The University has preferential rates with a number of local hotels, please quote Bournemouth University when booking to access these rates.  (Preferential rates are subject to availability and will be advised by the hotel at the time of booking)

Carlton Hotel
East Cliff Court Hotel
Miramar Hotel
The Green House Hotel

 Please note that before placing an order, you will be asked to agree to Bournemouth University’s terms and conditions (see below). Please read these terms carefully and make sure you understand them before ordering any Products.

Bournemouth University’s Online Event Terms and Conditions

 Photos may be taken at the event. If you do not want to appear in any photos, please notify a member of staff at the event. For further information on the use of photos and videos, please refer to our privacy policyDo you have questions about Resourcing the Future for Wildlife in Dorset? Contact Brian Heppenstall, Senior Ranger at BCP council

Book your place here now:

Living Labs Roadshow, Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus

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.

Book online now:

Stepping into Nature – Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

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:

Breaking Ground: Female Archaeologists at Avebury

28 October – 18 December 2019
Atrium Gallery, Poole House, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University – open to all.

Last year this exhibition marked the 100 year anniversary of some women gaining the right to vote in Britain. It brings to light the contributions made by female archaeologists in the twentieth century at Avebury’s Stone Circles & Henge, National Trust World Heritage Site and the wider archaeology field.

Curated by BU’s Damian Evans and Bethan Bailey. Staff and students in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University have had a long and fruitful association with the Avebury WHS, and worked closely with National Trust staff and with many farmers and landowners who have kindly facilitated surveys and investigations.

A selection of objects from the Alexander Keiller Museum’s collection have been scanned and 3D printed for this exhibition, part of an MRes project by Bethan Bailey to investigate how archaeological objects can be made accessible to people with mobility difficulties.

Out in the landscape of Avebury, BU has been involved in several projects, including:

Extensive Geophysical Surveys
Discovery and plotting of many previously unrecognized sites in partnership with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institute and the National Trust.

Between the Monuments / Living with the monuments
Investigating the character of human settlement in the Avebury landscape, Arts and Humanities Research Council funded collaboration.

Virtual Avebury
A 3D fully immersive VR simulation of prehistoric Avebury allows participants inside the model to experience the site as never before. Collaborative project with BU, National Trust Daden Ltd and Satsymph, funded by AHRC/ Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Human Henge at Avebury
A multi-disciplinary Heritage Lottery Fund project investigating the value of historic landscapes as a way of the enhancing mental health well-being of people with long-term mental health issues.

The Breaking Ground exhibition was created by the Alexander Keiller Museum in Avebury who have kindly loaned it to the University for display. It has been produced in association with the National Trust and TrowelBlazers. We are delighted to host this celebrative exhibition; it will be on display in the Atrium Gallery, Poole House, Talbot campus until 18 December 2019.

Marineff Workshop


MARINEFF is a cross-channel EU funded project focusing on eco-engineering coastal infrastructure to increase marine biodiversity and enhance net gain. The project’s biannual workshops are aimed at a stakeholder audience of coastal managers, coastal engineers, maritime professionals, policy makers, local councils and port authorities to educate them about the project’s aims and goals and receive feedback from those in industry.

The MARINEFF project’s second biannual workshop will be held in the Education Room at Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight this autumn. It will introduce the MARINEFF project and all its work packages, and focus on ‘Vertipools’ in work package T2. Vertipools are a type of artificial rockpool created by Isle of Wight based subcontractor Artecology, which are retrofitted onto vertical coastal frontage, such as quays, pilings and sea walls. As a MARINEFF partner, Bournemouth University plan to deploy 150 Vertipools across three sites in an experimental array designed to determine the optimum spacing for maximising marine species colonisation.

The Workshop will include refreshments and a buffet lunch, several presentations in the morning and a field trip to Vertipools deployed along a wooden groyne on Sandown beach. The field site is a 2 minute walk from the Workshop venue.


  • 10.30 – Arrival at Education Room, Dinosaur Isle. Tea and coffee
  • 11.00 – Introduction to MARINEFF – Jess Bone (15mins + 5 min questions)
  • 11.20 – Background on Vertipools and current site locations – Artecology (25mins + 5 min questions)
  • 11.50 – Existing data collected on Vertipools – Dr Alice Hall (15mins + 5 min questions)
  • 12.10 – The next steps – Vertipools & upscaling – Jess Bone/ Roger Herbert (15mins + 5 min questions)
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 13.30 – Walk to field site on Sandown beach – Artecology workshop tour
  • 15.30 – Return to Dinosaur Isle to collect belongings, end

Travel and Accommodation

We recommend attendees travel to Ryde via Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth as foot passengers, though cars can be driven over at a higher cost. Parking is limited to 16 spaces at the venue which is free. There are larger car parks local to the venue but standard Isle of Wight parking charges apply. There is a train service from Ryde to Sandown, the venue location. There are hotels in Sandown to suit a range of budgets. Regrettably we cannot reimburse travel and accommodation expenses or offer grants to cover associated costs.

Museum of the future

Event: Museum Of The Future

Copyright: palaeogo

When: 5/11/2019 @ 11am

Where: Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

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.

Russell-Cotes Museum: Reinterpretation Project

Author: Carlos Finlay

Copyright: Russell Cotes Museum

“Ever since the museum opened to the people of Bournemouth in 1922, the Russell-Cotes has continued to enthral the public with its eclectic display of Victorian art and furnishings.

Contact with foreign cultures around the world introduced objects to East Cliff Hall which are now a staple of the museum’s renowned collections, and as of 2020 these objects will be revealed in a new light.

Generous funding from Arts Council England and the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, amongst other sources, has allowed the museum to carry out an expansive refurbishment project for three of its rooms: the Yellow Roomthe Red Room, and the Mikado’s Room. Located on the first floor of the historic house, these rooms hold the Russell-Cotes’ Japanese and ethnographic collections from their widespread travels throughout the world.

The project will showcase the most fascinating stories from Sir Merton and Lady Annie’s travels abroad, choosing objects which are both visually impactful and historically significant. These will be presented in new, Victorian-style cases with modern lighting allowing visitors to better engage with the visual and bygone narratives told by each artefact. As accompaniment, video material will contribute additional context to the relationship between these objects and the Russell-Cotes. The historic paintwork of each room will be conserved to its original splendour, and new flooring and blinds will be fitted to refurbish the look of the house.

The Mikado’s Room will continue to display the museum’s late-nineteenth-century Japanese collection, but the removal of the room’s glass barrier will allow visitors to get closer than ever to each object, alongside admiring the oriental painted frieze which adorns the room’s ceiling. Next door, the Red Room’s most popular asset is its breath-taking, uninterrupted view of the ocean; visitors will be able to better enjoy this through added seating, reading opportunities, and the display of additional objects from our collections.

The Russell-Cotes’ fascination for world cultures is expressed in the extensive objects brought back from their travels throughout the eastern hemisphere; the museum’s ethnographic collection will be exhibited in the Yellow Room with display cases more sympathetic to their Victorian surroundings.

The redisplay is only one part of the museum’s initiative; essential to enhancing our visitors’ experience is how we interpret the objects on show.

Earlier this summer, Greg Irvine, Senior Curator of the V&A’s Asian Department, spent time at the museum researching our Asian collection, and we are currently working with ethnography specialist Len Pole. By working with specialist curators and community groups we can better ensure our objects are displayed in a way which is both culturally sensitive and relevant for the museum’s standing in the modern world.

The redisplay is expected to be completed in March 2020. Conservation is currently underway on the fantastic Mikado’s Room ceiling, a project which will take approximately 5 weeks.”

Reinterpretation volunteer Carlos Finlay, currently studying MA History of Art, University of Edinburgh.