Tag: ecological research

My first dissertation (MA Hons Landscape Architecture) questioned to what extent habitat creation schemes were posing a threat to existing ancient grasslands? Using field surveys I undertook on various grasslands in Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, academic literature and my own seed mix trials, I fostered an understanding of responsible wildflower-rich grassland creation.

The moral concerns of local genotype pollution., distribution of non-endemic and non-native species, and the misguided view that we can create facsimiles of ancient grasslands are not, in my opinion, aiding our environment.

The study of vegetation communities and self-regulation/competition can, however, be instrumental in creating sustainable planting designs and solutions.

For my advanced diploma (historic environment) dissertation, and my current thesis (archaeology), I am gathering field-name, place-name and primary documentation evidence (Medieval charters, perambulations, land registers) to record the age of certain habitats on certain areas (Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire) to increase our knowledge of where habitats developed under human influence.

I hope my findings may be of interest to masterplanners and decision makers in how we maintain, manage and enhance our local environments.

I traveled the length of this incredible island with two friends, supporting environmental charities, wildlife conservation and the local communities through donations, payments for guided tours and exchange of information.

The Aye-aye at midnight and the Indri’s haunting calls through the dawn forest are one of my strongest memories… and the leeches!

 

Working on mega-projects in areas adjacent to environmental reserves, it was necessary to undertake our own environmental research with published findings and recommendations to guide the developer and advise the local authorities.

I spearheaded such reports with the Managing Director of Urbis Hong Kong Ltd, and our work was approved by Dubai Municipality, RAMSAR and Sama Dubai.

I arranged to meet Dr. Benno Boer of UNESCO, and was equally proud and relieved to receive his endorcement of my species lists and native species procurement strategies for use on The Lagoons, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary Buffer Zone and the Creekfront.

My recommendations for marine ecological enhancement was to my knowledge, the first time a developer has considered such comprehensive enhancement as sea grass meadow establishment, bioremediation shellfish lines, mangrove establishment and coral reef creation. If this recession ever ends, it will be great to see the project resurect.

 

 

After graduating, I joined the Student Partnership Worldwide charity (now Restless Development) on a 3 month training course in Zanzibar and Tanzania prior to spending a further 3 month ‘outreach’ placement in remote villages of the Usambara mountains of northern Tanzania.

The team of European and Tanzanian students integrated into village existence: living in mud huts and taking water from the river each morning whist setting up tree nurseries, model farms, multi-cropping experiments, teaching in the schools, promoting forest management, water management awareness courses, sustainable management awareness, and whilst trying to learn Kiswahili (with varying success!).

After a bout of tapeworms, malaria, tetanus and hospitalisation, I joined the Kilimanjaro Soil Development Association advising on organic farming practices and erosion control before returning to the Usambara mountains, and then headed north to Kenya and south to Madagascar.