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.
Last month CBESS and MASTS joined forces in Morecambe Bay to deliver a NERC funded residential skills development course for eleven postgraduate students and early career researchers. Leading researchers in the field of mudflat and saltmarsh ecology were brought in from institutions around the UK to impart their knowledge and experience of planning and conducting and major field campaigns in coastal habitats. The one week long course was based at Arnside’s YHA hostel, where we were excellently hosted by new owners Leah and Martin.
Applications for the 2015 ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Assessment’ training course are open until 14th November 2014. In February we hope to build on the success of the 2014 course and we have made some additions and improvements to the program based on the feedback we received from students. We are also lucky to have an international component in the form of Professor Stefano Lanzoni from the University of Padova.
In January and February 2013 the CBESS Team spent two weeks in the Essex Marshes and Morecambe Bay, respectively (the first of two field campaigns). Rain, hail, ice, snow and wind were overcome in order to collect enough samples at four spatial scales to quantify the biodiversity and related ecosystem services in two very different bio-geographical regions.
The University of Essex is providing a vital role in the CBESS project by characterising the microbes present in 264 areas of salt marsh and mudflat, spread over six field sites in Essex and Morecambe. These microbes are particularly important in these habitats as they play a vital role in many processes such as cleaning the environment and improving plant growth.
Dr Anne Cotton is joining the CBESS community as a post-doctoral researcher based in University of Essex. Anne will be leading on the molecular and nutrient flux work, and helping with the organisation of the Essex campaigns.