Monday, 29 October 2012

A load of bullocks (or how some animals can upset your work)

By Dan Moule, BSc Conservation Biology student

Dan Moule, doing
something completely
In July and August of this summer, two other stage two biology students and I conducted a light trap study on the North Wyke farm platform of the Rothamsted Research Institute, near Okehampton, North Devon. Here's an account of our adventures...

The aim of the study was to measure the catches of moths and other night flying invertebrates over time in relation to three different light bulb sizes. Conducted at three sites on the farm platform between the hours of midnight and 4am on alternate nights (weather permitting), we spent six weeks alone in the dark with only the moths, flies and other assorted Dartmoor wildlife for company. If the commotion of the nocturnal wildlife, freezing cold (only a slight exaggeration) or biting midges weren’t enough to keep us awake, our beepers were primed and ready to stir us every fifteen minutes to change our sample jars.

Friday, 26 October 2012

My placement year: Alex Leeper

Alex Leeper has recently returned from her placement year, spending part of it in the UK and another part in Singapore. Here is her account...

The first six months of my placement year were spent volunteering at Bangor University working Primarily with Dr. Louise Firth, and Dr. Cara Hughes.  The main task while I was there was to assist in the processing of sediment cores taken from around sites of planned, under construction, and established breakwater sites in Cardigan Bay.  This meant lots of lab time and practice, both in sorting and taxonomy.  I was living on Anglesey, a place I had never even visited before, and really fell in love with the area, particularly the community and the beautiful landscape.  While my placement was heavily lab based there was still lots of opportunities to gain valuable fieldwork experience, for example at Borth (in picture) a site of construction of a new design of breakwater scheme, where health and safety required us to be suited and booted In High Vis gear!