Restoring Kenya’s most threatened forests

Lindsay Biermann (LEAF)

Across the world, natural ecosystems are becoming increasingly degraded and fragmented. As a consequence, preservation of remaining intact habitats is likely to be insufficient for many species. Instead, the United Nations has identified restoring wild places as a global priority in its upcoming decade on ecosystem restoration.

In response to this, former Bournemouth Life and Environmental Sciences alumnus, Lindsay Biermann, has helped found the Little Environmental Action Foundation (LEAF for short) alongside thirteen fellow young conservationists. LEAF’s mission is to restore some of the most threatened ecosystems across the tropics, whilst using research-driven approaches and 100% native species.

LEAF’s first project is focused on cultivating and planting indigenous trees in coastal Kenya. Situated in the East African Coastal Forest Biodiversity hotspot, this project aims to save the region’s endemic trees that are all predicted to go extinct by 2050 without intervening action. LEAF is working in partnership with Pwani University to recover seeds, grow seedlings and plant out these threatened endemic species around fragments of ancient forest sites called relics. These relics are incredibly important to the future of this region, as currently 96% of native trees have been lost to monoculture plantations and farming.

Using research and expertise, LEAF has begun by employing local graduates and implementing ex situ conservation on the university grounds. From here, we plan to expand our efforts to plant trees close to pre-existing relict sites, educate local people on how to protect these forests and show why their ecosystem services are invaluable. By focusing on native tree species, we aim to increase the survival rates of planted trees and also the long-term recovery of these forests. Collaborative research with university students is also helping to maximise survival rates by studying salt and drought tolerance, as well as optimal planting times.

LEAF is set to officially launch in National Tree week running from 28th November to 6th December. As part of the launch, LEAF is aiming to raise funds to build a new seedling nursery that can propagate and grow rare and endangered tree species. From these donations, LEAF hope to transform the nursery to provide sufficient capacity for future forest restoration projects.

The LEAF charity is remains in its infancy but has ambitious plans to expand its restoration work into ten countries by 2030. Potential projects in Rwanda and India have already been identified, whilst a UK-based school outreach programme is being developed. If you would like to learn more about LEAF’s work, visit their website – www.theleafcharity.com – or follow them on social media @wearetheleaf.

First trees planted in Pwani University

BLOODHOUND LAND SPEED RECORD THE STORY SO FAR

Join the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for an exciting presentation on the latest developments in the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project, presented by Mike Ford. The Bloodhound project is a ten year attempt to break the land speed record for a car. This is a real, modern day story of design challenges, funding woes and the will to ultimately succeed.

Mike Ford has worked in many different engineering sectors. These sectors include, marine engineering, nuclear power and food manufacturing. He is now working alongside Bloodhound LSR, the land speed record team who are designing and building the first 1000 mph car. Mike has worked for major blue chip companies culminating in positions up to director level and has also run his own successful engineering consultancy business.

This lecture free and open to the public with Tea & Coffee available on arrival. Free parking is also available.

Tuesday 12th November 2019

6.30pm for 7pm

Share Lecture Theatre, The Fusion Building, Bournemouth University Talbot Campus Poole. BH12 5BB

For more information please contact: John Kent Tel: 01202693279 Mob: 07715050310 kentjekent@btinternet.com

To register attendance: http://nearyou.imeche.org/near-you/UK/Wessex/Bournemouth-Area

For more information about the Bloodhound project: http://www.bloodhoundlsr.com/

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.

For more information on how to get involved, current activities, and more about the team follow this link:http://www.greenlesplus.co.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.

PhD opportunity: Predicting the Implications of Changes in Migration Phenology for the Conservation of Atlantic Salmon

Bournemouth University (www.bournemouth.ac.uk) and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (www.gwct.org.uk) are recruiting a high calibre PhD researcher to work on a three year fully funded studentship investigating changes in the migrations of Atlantic salmon in relation to factors including climate change, with an emphasis on how changes in smolt migrations are impacting survival to spawning adults.

The study will develop flexible multistate state-space mark-recapture models to quantify and then investigate correlates of Atlantic salmon marine survival using data collected on the river Frome, Dorset UK, with the intention of generalising findings to other rivers in Europe.

The successful candidate will have a strong numerical background and some knowledge of salmonids.

Although the student will be registered at Bournemouth University, they will spend up to 2/3 of their time at the FBA River Laboratory in rural Dorset: https://www.fba.org.uk/the-river-laboratory

Deadline: 11th March 2018

Entry requirements: A 1st class honours degree and/or a relevant Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent

Apply: https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/study/courses/phd-studentship-predicting-implications-changes-migration-phenology-conservation-atlantic-salmon

(This PhD opportunity is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Channel VA Programme and is part of project SAMARCH (www.samarch.org))

PHSG 2nd Annual Conference: Poole Harbour Environment and Econmics

PHSG Marine Protected Areas Conference 2017

‘Poole Harbour provides both for a diverse ecology and a productive maritime economy. The Harbour is exceptional in the extent to which it illustrates the interface between environment and economics in the coastal zones of North West Europe. Positioned at the eastern end of the “Jurassic Coast” World Heritage Site, the entire Harbour has various conservation designations while at the same time providing for commercial shipping, motor yacht manufacture, fishing & aquaculture, tourism, a military base, and a range of other significant maritime industries. It also lies over an oil field, receives effluent from both a large conurbation and an agricultural catchment, and supports a variety of recreational activities, not least sailing and angling. These features along with the intensity with which they interact make Poole Harbour a powerful case study for the elucidation of sustainable development in practice.

Thirteen years ago the Poole Harbour Study Group held a conference which resulted in the book The Ecology of Poole Harbour. This 2018 conference aims to expand the scope of that and last year’s Marine Protected Areas conference, by examining the relationship between the environment and the economy which it supports.

The conference is part of the Poole Maritime Festival and among the events during the day Borough of Poole council will present key findings from their forthcoming marine supply chain mapping report.

Presentations (15 minutes), mini-presentations (3 minutes) and posters may examine any aspect of the Harbour environment and/or its maritime economy. Particularly welcome are contributions which engage with the interactions between the two, whether from business, policy, or conservation perspectives. Presentations may also cover aspects of the river catchment or Poole Bay which have direct implications for the Harbour itself. Contributions subsequently written up will be published in proceedings

For further general information please contact the Conference Secretary Dr Alice Hall A.Hall@bournemouth.ac.uk.

To submit, a presentation or poster proposal, please send a 50 word summary to PHSG Chair, John Humphreys (email jhc@jhc.co), who would also be happy to provide advice on any early stage presentation idea.

Poole Harbour Study Group has been encouraging and disseminating objective research on Poole Harbour for over twenty-five years. Members include all the main statutory organisations along with universities, NGOs and commercial enterprises.’

(Environment Agency, Dorset Wildlife Trust, IFCA, Phc)  

SAMARCH (SAlmoid MAnagement Round the CHannel) team brave the cold to find and tag sea trout

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).
If you would like to know more about the project then you can follow online via:http://samarch.orghttp://www.wessexportal.co.uk/category/samarch-salmonid-management-round-the-channel or contact Katie Thompson on thompsonk@bournemouth.ac.uk or Genoveva Esteban gesteban@bournemouth.ac.uk.