Spring 2014: and the sample processing continues…

This Spring, CBESS partners have continued full steam with processing of the 20,000+ ecological samples that were collected during the field campaigns last year. Both Bangor and Southampton Universities have provided updates which give an insight into the processing process.

The team is working hard to process samples for Tillingham, one of our Essex sites, so that the Data Analysis Working Group (DAWG) have a working dataset to play with when they meet in June. DAWG will conduct preliminary analyses to get a feel for the data and decide how best to analyse the full dataset when it’s ready. This will also aid in the selection of appropriate satellite sites around the UK.

In February, CBESS and MASTS joined forces in Morecambe Bay to run a one-week residential field course in advanced field techniques for post-graduate students and early career researchers. The course was based at Arnside Youth Hostel with easy access to the nearby Warton Sands saltmarshes and mudflats. Feedback from both students and staff was excellent, and we will be applying for funding to run another one in 2015. Read more about the course here.

In May University of St Andrews staff will be returning to Morecambe Bay to run a socio-economic workshop with recreational stakeholders from the region. Dr Tim Stojanovic is leading the workshop and will be using prior experience from the Essex workshop to ensure this one is an equal success. Please follow this link for the workshop flyer and distribute to anyone who may be interested in attending.

Outreach events have continued to raise the profile of the CBESS project and teach students and the public about the importance of our coastal ecosystems. The St Andrews team participated in the University’s annual Science Discovery Day in March, and had geography students from Madras College over to learn about coastal protection and conducting research in the field. More outreach activities are planned for the summer with the University’s Science Camp and First Chances program. Check back for updates!

This Spring we’ve been lucky enough to have input from three non-academic partners: Lucy and Niall from the British Trust for Ornithology and Richard from the RSPB talk about the benefits of birds, while Sue from Natural England discusses the ecosystem approach.

Meanwhile, our PhD students have been keeping us updated on the PhD blog page. Follow their progress on this link.

Finally, CBESS has recently welcomed a new post-doc, Dr Scott Pedley, to the team. Scott will be split between University of Durham and Queen’s University Belfast.