Genoveva Esteban and Katie Thompson are excited to announce the launch of a new website, Snapshot Science. They developed this website to virtually showcase the fantastic work of staff and students within the Life and Environmental Science Department (LES) in SciTech. They are will also use this platform as part of a public engagement and outreach event on 9th March 2021 during the British Science Week 2021 along with the WildlifeCraftClub. You can follow The Wessex Portal to keep updated on this new project…and give us a like on Facebook!
Thank you to LES staff and students that contributed to the website.
On Sunday 17th March, academics and students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) took part in Dorchester’s family science festival, inviting members of the public to learn about all aspects of science and research in the department for life and environmental sciences, from African elephant conservation to microbes living in the local environment. Many other local organisations also came along to take part, including Biotrack, the Jurassic Coast Trust, the Institute of Physics and many more.
The event was sponsored by EU-Interreg project SAMARCH (through Genoveva Esteban), the Royal Society of Biology (grant to G. Esteban and D. Franklin), Dorchester Town Council and BU. We are also grateful to the Science IRL Project developed by the Indian River Lagoon Science Festival SAMA (Florida, USA) for sharing the “This is what a scientist looks like.” T-shirt idea with us.
Bournemouth University staff and students were involved in several different activities:
The world of microbes – Prof. Genoveva Esteban (professor of microbial aquatic ecology), Dr Daniel Franklin (lecturer in microbial ecology and biological oceanography) and Hai Luu (PhD student) – visitors were able to observe a variety of live single celled microbes using microscopes, and learn about the importance of these tiny organisms in the natural environment.
Fish conservation and the Samarch project – Ossi Turunen (Undergraduate student) and Oskari Heimonen (Undergraduate student) – visitors were able to colour in their own salmon, and learn to tell the age of a fish using their bones! Oskari and Ossi are both heavily affiliated with the Samarch project and visitors could learn more about the project too.
Insects to elephants: African biodiversity and wildlife conservation – Katie Thompson (Research associate and PhD student) and Jack Dazley (Research assistant and MRes student) – visitors were able to look at preserved insect specimens and learn about their diversity, and also play a game matching 10 African insect species to their habitat. Also Katie and Jack showed people how elephant populations have declined, what threats they face and how conservation biologists are tackling these problems, with a map of African elephant distribution in the past vs today.
The event was a huge success and attracted many visitors of all ages from the local area, engaging them with research and hopefully inspiring new young scientists! We are very thankful to everybody who came on the day!
For more information please contact Genoveva Esteban (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jack Dazley (email@example.com) or Katie Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hunter N. Hines posts photos and footage of the organisms he studies during his PhD research under his microscope, including single-celled organisms like ciliates and micro-animals like worms and tardigrades (known as water bears).
Hunter said: “The videos and photos on my Instagram show these awesome creatures in their natural state as they are behave and move, rather than just drawings from a textbook.”
Hunter is currently studying for his PhD at Bournemouth University, conducting research in Florida on single-celled organisms called ciliates, looking at their biodiversity and biogeography in freshwater ecosystems.
Alongside ciliates, his Instagram account @microbialecology shows microscopic creatures including worms, larvae and micro crustaceans doing everything from laying eggs to eating each other.
At one point the account received over 1.4 million views in a single week.
Hunter said: “These are organisms at the foundation of foodwebs and important for ecosystem health. I collect them from freshwater habitats, such as ponds, in Florida, and some are from soil.
“For many viewers this is the first time they are seeing these creatures from the micro world as living things.
“I hope that my posts can reach a global audience, and show microbiology in a positive light, while inspiring interest in science to anyone with internet access.”
Over this weekend you will be looking at the line of World War II anti-tank cylinders which form part of a Grade II listed group of defences. These defences were hastily erected in 1940 as the open and flat expanse of Pegwell Bay was seen as vulnerable to invasion. There will be classroom session where you will learn more about the site from Kent military historian Ron Stillwell, look at the CITiZAN project as a whole and the recording methods we’ll be using before taking a guided walk of the site and recording the cylinders and associated features at the northern end of the line.
The itinerary for the weekend is as follows:
Saturday 25 June
9.00am – 1.00pm: Classroom session at Cliffesend Village Hall
After tea, coffee and biscuits and introductions there’ll be presentations on CITiZAN and the history of the site. We’ll then look at the different recording methods CITiZAN uses and have a practice run of the scale planning skills we’ll need on Sunday. At 12.45 we’ll break for lunch (bring sandwiches, but we’ll provide tea, coffee, squash and more biscuits) and have an informal question and answer session
13.00 – 15.00: Field session
We’ll drive to Pegwell Bay Country Park car park and walk to the site in Stonelees Nature Reserve (c 500m). CITiZAN will cover parking costs, and has room in our minibus for those that need a lift.We’ll then carry out a walkover survey of the site thenfill in recording sheets and take photographs of the anti-tank cylinders and associated features. There’ll be c 15 minutes at the end of the session for questions and answers.
Sunday 26 June
10.00 – 15.00 Field session
Meet at Pegwell Bay Country Park car park and walk to the site in Stonelees Nature Reserve. CITiZAN will cover parking costs. We have room in our minibus for those that need a lift – we’ll be leaving from Ramsgate at 9.30. On site recording of the anti-tank cylinders and associated features to produce a scale plan and elevation drawings. Debrief with a questions/answer session and discussion about follow up work on the site and along the Thanet coastline. We’ll have a break c.12.30 for a picnic lunch: please bring sandwiches; we’ll provide squash and biscuits.
All attendees will recieve an attendance certificate and a CITiZAN edition Archaeology Skills passport
To sign up and for more details contact Lara at email@example.com or on 07718 570384
Archaeology: From Dig to Lab and Beyond
Starts June 20th.
Join us at the University of Reading as we chart the progress of an archaeological excavation from dig to lab and beyond on this free online course.
Take a virtual field trip to the Vale of Pewsey
We’ll be showing you around our field school – a month-long excavation at the Vale of Pewsey, which is a relatively untouched site compared to its world-famous neighbours, Stonehenge and Avebury.
The Vale of Pewsey is an archaeological treasure chest and the jewel of its crown is Marden. Built around 2,400 BC, Marden is the largest henge in the country and one of Britain’s most important but least understood prehistoric monuments.
Every object has a tale to tell and we’ll investigate how archaeologists paint a vivid picture of what life was like in Neolithic times through the astounding assortment of discoveries made in this beautiful part of England.