We are happy to announce that Dr Steve Willis has been promoted to Reader in the School of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. Sincerest congratulations to Steve on his Readership!
Michelle Gibson has recently been awarded the Norman Richardson Postgraduate Research Fund! It is awarded biannually by Ustinov College to help with fieldwork related expenses. Michelle's portion of this fund will go towards airfare to Australia, car rentals for fieldwork in the Australian Outback survey, and accommodation costs while visiting University of Queensland. Previous recipients are from a wide range of research backgrounds- Geography, Archaeology, Social Sciences, International Affairs, Theology, and Business, to name a few- and have travelled to locations around the world from Palestine and Greece to Nepal, Shanghai, and the USA. As a recipient of the award, Michelle will be required to complete a research trip report and take part in a college seminar or discussion forum.
Michelle's research explores disturbance impacts of extreme weather events in Australia on bird species distributions. She will be conducting surveys this July in Australia to measure the abundance and density of terrestrial birds of the arid Australian interior. For more information about Michelle's project see here.
Masters student Stuart Brooker is moth trapping in the woodlands around Durham University. We are in week 3 of this moth 'extravaganza'. This week Stuart reports that he 'got a few corkers'.
Although the Beautiful Golden Y is possibly the most handsome of this week's moths, the Clay Triple-lines is particularly interesting. Historically the Clay Triple-line has largely been confined to the southern half of Britain, but appears to be expanding northwards, and is now pretty much at its northern limit here in Durham with just a handful of records from a little further north (the southern half of Northumberland). What's more, it's larval food plant is beech, which is 'arguably' non-native to northern Britain, and may only exist here due to plantations. So is it climate change that has brought Clay Triple-lines up north? human interference? or, more likely, both?
Stay tuned weekly for more Stu's Top Moths or follow us on twitter for updates and photos of moths and other wildlife around Durham University!
We have a live nest camera on a blue tit nest just outside of the School of Biology Building. The live camera feed comes into the atrium in the Biology building. The nest has seven nestlings who are currently about 7 days old and the parents are kept busy feeding them. The camera broadcasts to two screens in the atrium and can be watched all day! Come up and visit us to see it.
This nest box is part of a larger nest box project that monitors 120 boxes in the woodlands around Durham University. More information about this project can be found here.