Monday, 2 November 2015

BSc Conservation Biology win volunteering awards

Hayley Partridge and Daniel Hosking have just been given a South West Trust Lakes award for their contribution to education within the Trust. Each of them spent six months with the organisation on their work placement year, gaining valuable experience. Now they are back at university to complete the final year of their BSc Conservation Biology degree.
Daniel (left) and Hayley (right) with their awards,
presented by David Robertson (Chairman
of the South West Lakes Trust).

Here is the South West Lakes Trust citation for the pair's award:

"On a six month placement with South West Lakes Trust these two individuals have made a huge contribution to conservation in the Burrator area. They have jointly worked on a detailed study of species recovery following large scale forestry activities. Not only does this help us understand how habitats will react to large scale intervention, which is invaluable in forest and site management planning, but also what to expect when we are forced into this type of operation due to plant health orders etc. as we were at Burrator. They have been involved in a huge amount of species survey work including bats, dormice, invertebrates and flora, which is a huge asset to SWLT. They are also both excellent at passing on their enthusiasm to children through helping with school groups. 

"They have both been invaluable in helping with the Burrator Outdoor Pre-School, designing resources and helping us deliver many educational visits for primary school groups which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, plus leading a wide range of practical conservation tasks around the site and supporting volunteers with different abilities to engage and participate fully.

"They have been an invaluable asset to our organisation and to Burrator particularly and we wish them every success with their next steps."

Friday, 9 October 2015

Studying invertebrates in the River Plym

Luke getting stuck in...
[Photo: Paul Ramsay]
The new conservation biologists at Plymouth University are doing an intensive Introduction to Biology module. It includes regular field trips.

Last week, we were at the Eden Project in Cornwall and collected our own data there to compare with a recently published global study on leaf venation.

This week we were looking at stream invertebrates at various points along the River Plym. We were interested in how freshwater invertebrate composition might reflect the surrounding habitat: for example, the river inside woodland versus in moorland.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Conservation Biology graduates 2015

Congratulations to the latest graduates from the BSc Conservation Biology degree!

The Conservation Biology Class of 2015.
Today was our graduation ceremony on Plymouth Hoe. It was a proud occasion, with friends and family in attendance.We're very proud of our students' achievements and we will watch their careers develop with great interest.

28% of the students on the course were awarded first class degrees, and another 28% the next highest category (upper second). The two best final year performances in all of biological sciences were by Conservation Biology students (Nic and Jodie). But well done to everyone! It was a great day.

Nicola Steer won the Royal Society of Biology Prize (represented by Christine Fry) for the best degree
performance in all of biological sciences. Well done!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Final-year Project Poster Conference and Awards

The final event of our degrees is a poster conference, which takes place immediately after the exams finish. All final-year students present posters summarising the work they did. The event was a great success, showcasing the tremendous talent of the students as well as the wide range of research project themes. There was a slight tension in the air as the staff made their way round the posters, questioning the students about their work, and awarding the last mark of the entire degree programme, but afterwards everyone's attention turned to wine and nibbles.

There were three themed poster sessions, and a prize was awarded to the best poster in each one, chosen by popular vote by the students.

The research project poster award winners of 2015: left to right, Nicola Steer (BSc Hons Conservation Biology), Sophie Snowden (BSc Hons Biological Sciences) and Katie Gear (BSc Hons Animal Behaviour and Welfare).

It is a nice way to finish, with everyone together (staff and students) one last time. Inevitably, it turns into a social evening once the formalities of the conference are completed.

All the lecturers, technicians and office staff would like to thank all the students for their efforts and wish them success in the future!

An Amphibian Adventure in Costa Rica

Group at the Santa Rosa Field Station.
(Photo: Robert Puschendorf)
By Alice Pawlik

In summer 2014 a group of students and lecturers from Plymouth University visited Costa Rica - an amazing country which supports wildlife ranging from frogs to fungi and everything in between!

The country's high diversity is due to Costa Rica's climate and geographic position. It is part of a land bridge which formed between North and South America around three million years ago, leading to a species interchange which caused the rich diversity seen today. Costa Rica now holds around 4% of all species in the world!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

BSc Conservation Biology - entry in 2015

This blog entry has now been replaced by a newer one. Just click HERE to go to the blog post for Sept 2016 entry...