An amazing placement opportunity for one life sciences student

Scottish Lowland Research have one placement on offer at their Trust in Scotland and it could be yours!

GWCT

The sandwich placement on offer is for a student to undertake research in Scotland relating to lowland game and wildlife and the habitats they share, in particular woodlands and farmland. The research is applied and based on a fieldwork data-collection programme.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity. Its 60 scientists carry out research into game, associated species and habitats, from its HQ at Fordingbridge, Hampshire and at outstations throughout the country. The Trust’s main areas of interest encompass farmland, moorland, woodland and river management for game and other wildlife.

If interested please send your CV to Dave Parish as soon as possible: dparish@gwct.org.uk 

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Ryan Burrel said: “We have found sandwich students to be an extremely valuable addition to our teams and we have enjoyed working with them and you (University of Lincoln). We as an organisation feel the students get invaluable experience in wildlife conservation research from these opportunities, which is a great asset when they enter the field, be it related or not.”

 

Placement information

“We have one opening at our new Cromar Farming With Nature (CFWN) project in Aberdeenshire. This comprises the Game and Wildlife Scottish Demonstration Farm and the MacRobert Trust land nearby. These two areas combine to provide a huge study site supporting a wide diversity of habitats and wildlife. On both areas we are working to collect baseline data ahead of devising a new management plan for both sites. This offers a rare opportunity to collect valuable data on a host of taxa, from bumblebees and bugs, to pine marten and squirrels, and raptors and waders.

The CFWN team consists of two permanent staff plus several students and volunteer staff. The placements would be based at GWSDF where we have an office and accommodation, plus a truck for use if necessary. We could pay a stipend of £89 per week of the placement and all accommodation bills would be covered.

We could accommodate placements for up to a year if required, or shorter periods as necessary. The successful candidate would be involved mostly with field work but also some data handling and analysis. Overall you should be able to get and hence expand your experience in ecological experimental design, database construction and data analysis, field work techniques including wildlife surveys, maybe using GPS and GIS. We would endeavour to match your interests to the project as far as possible. There may be the opportunity to work on more than one project within the Scottish Lowland Research department, or between departments within The GWCT as a whole.

We require confident and able students with an interest in ecology and in working outdoors for a placement in 2016/17. Some data handling and analysis skills might be useful as would bird ID or other field skills.

Send your CV as soon as possible to be considered – Good Luck!

Read more about the placement here: GWCT_UndergraduatePlacement_2016_ScottishLowlandResearch

Ecology field trip to Malham

Life Sciences students taking the Evolution and Ecology module took a beautiful field trip to Malham, in Yorkshire to study field ecology, landscape and conservation.

Around 100 first year students spent 3 days on site studying the habitats and nature and saw some wonderful sights.

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They looked at different groups of organisms in different habitats including ferns living in cracks in the limestone pavement, aquatic invertebrates in streams, and terrestrial invertebrates inhabiting forests and meadows.

One activity consisted of investigating the ferns found in the limestone pavement. The limestone pavement is an unusual geological formation found in few places around England.

After a relatively short walk from the Youth Hostel where the group stayed, they arrived in front of Malham Cove, a former waterfall with an impressive view, house of a pair of peregrine falcons with their two chicks.

The group were able to observe the birds thanks to some volunteers with telescopes, very eager to share they knowledge about these fantastic creatures with visitors.

Climbing the stairway to the top of the Cove, where the limestone pavement is found, students had to find and identify three different fern species (Wall rue, Hart’s tongue, and Maidenhair) and take several measurements to determine the environment they grow in.

Another activity was to sample aquatic invertebrates found in streams and compare their diversity levels in different parts of the river. Students had to wear wellingtons and get into the stream to collect samples that later on they identified.

The third activity consisted of collecting terrestrial invertebrates from a forest and a meadow using sweep nets, identified them, and compared the diversity levels found in both environments.

On the last day, the students presented their findings with wonderful presentations. 

Life after Lincoln’s Animal Behaviour Welfare course

From hand-raising cheetah cubs to caring for grown lions, Animal Behaviour and Welfare alumni Thomas Trew takes his University of Lincoln degree all the way to Africa.

atheno walk

Read his story here:

“I went straight to Namibia where I volunteered for a month at Harnas Wildlife Foundation. I cared for and rehabilitated injured and orphaned animals. It was a very hands on approach where I was able to interact with and have some incredible, very personal experiences with many different species of African wildlife.

Missy Jo

“From hand-raising cheetah cubs that were orphaned after a farmer shot their mother (being a few days old they were far too young to fend for themselves and would have died in the wild) and sharing a bed with baby Chacma baboons which cling on close to you at night as they fear the dark (or more accurately the vulnerability of being in the dark); to caring for fully grown cheetahs, leopards and lions.

“I also helped with radio tracking successfully reintroduced cheetahs in the wild, to keep updated on their health and welfare. There were a great many things I did whilst there, and I came back with a lot of stories and a wealth of memories and experiences that will stay with me for life.

baby cheetah ELVISSSSSS

“I was hoping to go back out to Namibia to work at Harnas as a co-ordinator for volunteers, however due to a change in management my plans fell through and I wasn’t given the position. However I stayed determined to return to Africa, just with a different goal.

“I decided that whilst I loved the hands-on experience of wildlife conservation, the effects of my work were limited to the animals in my immediate vicinity; if I wanted to make a bigger difference, I had to work on a bigger scale. So I’ve decided to go down the path of Conservation scientific research.

Thomas' colleague Monique and cheetah, Max
Thomas’ colleague Monique and cheetah, Max

Thomas has been successful in a job search and will be heading back out to Africa as a Project Manager and Research Assistant in the Guassa mountains of Ethiopia.

He will be conducting behavioural and ecological research on Gelada baboons in a year-long project.

“During my time in Ethiopia I will be camping in the mountains the Gelada baboons inhabit at around 3600m above sea level. The research I am conducting is part of an ongoing project that is run by Dr. Peter J. Fashing and Dr. Nga Nguyen, both professors at California state University, Fullerton.

Wildlife in built-up areas: undervalued in our urban ecosystems

Urban wildlife such as deer, foxes and badgers should be cherished for the ecological benefits they bring to towns and cities, rather than feared as potentially harmful pests, scientists argue in a new report.

The review, published in the scientific journal Wildlife Research, states that in order for humans and animals to live successfully side-by-side in built-up areas, a cultural shift is required for the public to fully appreciate the integral role that wildlife performs in urban ecosystems.

Much of the public dialogue about larger urban wildlife currently focuses on the risk of disease, pollution and threat to property or pets, rather than the positive contribution these animals can make.

Lead author Dr Carl Soulsbury, a conservation biologist based in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln, UK, said: “While promoting education about urban wildlife and its risks is important, the benefit wildlife brings to urban areas is often poorly communicated. It includes benefits such as regulating and supporting the ecosystem, through to improving human health and wellbeing.

“We need to identify ways to maximise the benefits, in particular increasing the accessibility of natural green spaces and promoting interactions with wildlife as a form of nature-based therapy. It is only through such an integrative approach that we can advance our understanding of how to live successfully alongside wildlife in an increasingly urbanised world.”

The researchers detail how urban wildlife can provide a range of benefits to human health and quality of life which are often undervalued or overlooked. For instance, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates the presence and viewing of urban wildlife is beneficial for human mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Urban animals also regulate and support the ecosystems of towns and cities. Many creatures serve as important predators of pest species – for example, songbirds help to control insect populations and predatory birds help rodent control.

But as urban human populations continue to grow, so too does the chance of ‘human-wildlife’ conflict, the researchers warn.

These conflicts occur when the activities of wildlife, whether through aggression, nuisance behaviour such as bin emptying or the spread of parasites or infectious diseases, have a negative effect on humans. Most such problems are minor, but can be distressing to individuals and tend to shape attitudes of the public and authorities.

Dr Soulsbury added: “The main problem is that many of the benefits of living alongside urban wildlife are difficult to quantify. However, we do know that the presence of wildlife gives people an opportunity to connect directly with nature at a local level. This is becoming particularly important in our increasingly urban society where humans are becoming more remote from the natural environment.

“More work is needed to better understand the role of urban wildlife and urban biodiversity in general, in the promotion of mental health and its greater role as a recreational and cultural ecosystem service. To do so wildlife biologists will need to work with other research disciplines including economics, public health, sociology, ethics, psychology and planning.”

New courses create even more career options

Students in a labStudents interested in wildlife management, medical research, animal ecology, pharmaceutical sciences and veterinary medicine have now even more options when it comes to degree courses.

To satisfy an increased demand in science-related subjects three new BSc (Hons) degrees in Biochemistry, Zoology and Pharmaceutical Sciences are being introduced at the University of Lincoln as of September 2013.

Biochemistry is at the cutting edge of the biological sciences and has made a significant contribution to all fields of science allied to medicine, biotechnology and pharmacology.

There is a constant need for graduates with expertise in this area, who can apply their skills to problems in medicine, plus the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnological industries.

The degree examines fundamental principles relating to the chemistry of life on earth. Extensive research expertise will support the teaching of the degree.

Graduates can look forward to working in various research areas, from forensic to biomedical science, plus academic publishing and scientific sales.

Zoology is the fascinating exploration of how animals function and interact with their environment.

The degree builds on the world-leading expertise in animal science at Lincoln. Students will be taught by research-active staff at the forefront of their fields and benefit from well-equipped laboratories and frequent opportunities for field work to study animals in their natural habitat.

The School of Life Sciences also has strong links with local zoos and animal welfare organisations.

During the course students will develop key scientific skills in research methods and gain an in-depth understanding of how animals function and interact with their environment.

Career opportunities for zoology graduates include a wide array of animal-related industries such as the veterinary sciences, animal ecology and behaviour, and even science journalism.

Libby John, Head of School of Life Sciences, said: “There is a real buzz within the School about offering these degrees that allow us to build on our world-class expertise in areas of core science. We are passionate about our teaching and research in these sciences and the opportunity to inspire the next generation of zoologists and biochemists.”

The School is home to some of the most exciting and innovative research work and will be relocating to the new, multi-million pound Science andInnovationParkin 2014, which will also include the newSchoolofPharmacy.

Currently on offer for September 2013 intake is the BSc in Pharmaceutical Science. The course will introduce students to the exciting world of drug discovery, development and vigilance, ensuring graduates are ready to enter the pharmaceutical and associated industries in theUKand across the globe.

Further information on all three courses is available. To request a prospectus or to arrange to speak to an academic please call Michelle Mortimer, Marketing Intelligence and Recruitment Officer for the School of Life Sciences, on 01522 837949 or e-mail mmortimer@lincoln.ac.uk

To book a place on our next open day on 12th December visit: www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/undergraduatecourses/opendays/