This autumn there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes better understating our data and the story it is telling us. However, we have found the time to leave our desks and talk and engage with fellow researchers and the public.
With less than a year until CBESS comes to an end, we are increasingly busy working on Theme 2 (context) and Theme 3 (scale). We have also been back in the field, in preparation for development of the Ecosystem Provisioning Tool. There have also some interesting collaborations between science and art.
The CBESS team met in York at the start of January for two days to discuss the best way to incorporate scale and context into our data analysis and how to best approach up-scaling biodiversity and ecosystem services and finally the creation of novel tools for Ecosystem Service Provisioning.
As autumn cools the air and our coasts become increasingly wild, wet and windy, CBESS members give a recap of events over the last three months. The collection of CBESS data continues to grow, with more and more samples being processed each day. This is providing the Data Analysis Working Group (DAWG) with an increasingly complex dataset to explore. With Theme 1 (socio-economic and ecological data collection) nearing completion, researchers are beginning to look at Themes 2 and 3: scale effects and context dependency on biodiversity and ecosystem service relationships.
In June and July, Queen’s University Belfast went into the field repeating the CBESS sampling campaign in three locations around Northern Ireland. They sampled small invertebrates and larger mobile fish and crabs by collecting sediment cores and deploying fyke nets in Belfast Lough, Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.
BTO and RSPB research scientists are assessing the value of cultural ecosystem services provided by coastal birds, using data from our Wetland Bird Survey (a national, long-term survey where volunteers count birds on estuaries and other wetlands every month). We contribute to two parts of the CBESS project – valuation experiments and assessment of non-monetary value (through deliberative workshops).
CBESS has recently welcomed a new post-doc into the team.Dr Scott Pedley started as the Queen’s University Belfast/Durham University ecoinformatics postdoc on 1 May 2014 and will be helping with CBESS Themes 2 and 3.
Applications are invited for a two-year Research Associate in Ecoinformatics (ecological analysis and synthesis), co-hosted by Durham and Queen’s University Belfast as part of the NERC-funded Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability project (CBESS). Both host Universities are equal opportunity employers and are committed to broadening participation in UK science; we therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply.
In August 2013, the CBESS Team began the final push to collect data for the Summer Field Campaign in Morecambe Bay and the Essex Marshes. Conditions were very different to winter with fieldworkers suffering sunburn and dehydration, compared to suspected frost bite!