As conservationists, we endeavour providing increasingly better solutions for conservation issues, based on reliable information and robust understanding of the dynamics of the systems under consideration. However, despite our efforts in collecting data and learning about our study systems, increasing predictability and improving conservation implementation, conservation is both uncertain and dynamic. Read More

Invasive alien species (IAS) have been the focus of many a debate recently (, with research in this area flourishing. Indeed for job creation purposes (make space for me in approximately 2.5 years!) the attention invasive alien plant species (IAPs) in particular are now receiving, is very welcome. Read More

The plan for this blog was intended to be a description and summation of the British Council sponsored conference I recently attended in the beautiful and inspiring Doñana national park in Spain. But instead I’m going to describe an experiment I carried out whilst there. Read More

Ento ’13 (the International Symposium and National Science Meeting of the Royal Entomological Society) took place at St Andrews University, Scotland at the beginning of September. It celebrated 30 years of Thornhill and Alcock’s The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems and contained several fascinating presentations from scientists around the globe, including Australia, Uppsala, Georgia and the UK. Read More

I have a confession to make. Even though I am currently employed as an Impact Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, I have somewhat lost track of exactly what scientific “impact” really is, or should be. Although given my job title I guess this constitutes a sackable offence, please hear me out… Read More

tractor LN1

…..that is the question being asked about many sandy beaches around the world.

Should beaches be mechanically cleared (or groomed) with tractors and raking equipment? Or is this creating more problems than it solves? Read More

In a world with looming mass extinction due to climate change, extensive land conversion and deforestation, global economic crisis, growing human population and rising questions of food security, why should we spend the limited funding available for conservation on peripheral populations at the edge of a species’ distribution? Read More

Should we restrict bats to farm barns? This seemed to be the suggestion of Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner, who stated in a Westminster Hall debate1 last Tuesday (25th June 2013) “Churches are not farm barns. They are places of worship and should be respected as such”. The debate, led by Sir Tony, focussed on how it should be easier for churches to get rid of bats causing problems for congregation and cast around for people to blame, fixing upon the EU for the offending legislation, and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) who he said had “ singularly failed to solve the problem”. Read More

It is the time of year when most of us go on holiday; some of us travelling far, some only short distances but most people go somewhere. Wherever we go, we like to connect with local culture, see different scenery and observe exotic and rare nature including birds, mammals and plants. Whenever I go places, I am always astonished about the flora and fauna the new place shares with what is familiar to me from the place I currently call home.  Read More

It is difficult to imagine getting half way through your PhD and only then realising that a substantial amount of research and literature exists on your field of expertise that you were clueless about. If I was to offer mitigating circumstances it would be that I suspect a large portion of you would also fall into the same trap. When you think of ‘urban ecology’ you think of scientific ecological research carried out in cities or towns. However what sets urban ecology apart from ‘traditional’ ecology is that humans come along and mess it all up (or make it more interesting depending on your viewpoint!).    Read More