Swimmer sets gold standard

European Youth Olympic silver medallist and European Junior Championship gold medallist, Alex Dunk, likes a challenge as he succeeds with his studies alongside his swimming.

Grassland Conservation Conference 14-15 August 2017

Following the successful Conservation Management and Research Conference hosted by the Biology Department in 2014 we are pleased to announce that we will host the inaugural Grassland Conservation Conference (14th-15th August, 2017).

The conference aims to overcome the major challenge of dissemination of applied ecological research to conservation practitioners by providing a platform for the development of collaboration and knowledge exchange between scientists and practitioners.

Held over two days the Grassland Conservation Conference will feature oral presentations from academics, conservation practitioners and policy makers along with a poster session sponsored by the George Stapledon Memorial Trust and a series of parallel workshops and field visits.

The Key Note Speaker is Dr Richard Jefferson, who has over 25 years experience working for Natural England as a Senior Grassland Specialist. Richard’s lecture Evidence to Advice: How research-practitioner partnerships can support successful grassland conservation will open proceedings and is sure to stimulate discussion.

The call for abstracts is now open and there are a number of conference fee waiver bursaries available for students and those working for conservation organisations.

For more information visit: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/biology/grassland-conservation-workshop/

or contact Ashley.Lyons@edgehill.ac.uk

3rd Biology Olympiad

The Biology department held the third Olympiad on Thursday 22 June 2017. 83 Year 12 students from across the North West competed against each other in 17 teams to earn the prestigious Biology Olympiad award.

Students were scored on their practical skills, knowledge and understanding of Biology in 4 areas. Students extracted their own DNA, completed a Biology quiz, used keys to ID insects and investigated how their senses compete.

Congratulations to Withington Girls’ School, who not only had the winning team, Advantageous Alleles, but also team Gene-ious came joint second with Upton Hall School’s Mitosisters

Microbiology Field Trips in the Salty Northwest

The semester break has been quite busy for team members of the lab of Dr. André Antunes, with two recent sampling campaigns to underexplored hypersaline locations in the Northwest, as part of ongoing research projects.

The first sampling trip had us braving mud and foul weather in the salt marshes of Southport. The samples were collected as part of Priyanka More’s PhD project, which focuses on microbiology of gradient-rich environments, with a focus on salt marshes.

The second sampling trip had members of our team heading to the Cheshire Salt District. Samples were collected from the brine springs of the Anderton Nature Park, and from the Nantwich brine pool. These samples will be used by Ruth Hardman (a Masters student at LJMU, doing her research placement in our lab, and looking at production of bioplastics), and by other members of the team. Further sampling trips are planned with our two Summer interns Katie Andrews and Hélio Rocha.


Additional members of the teams, who contributed greatly to the success of both trips, included Rob Hart (Geography Department), Thom Dallimore, Dr. Marta Simões, and Dr Ahmed Shibl from the Biology Department.

Stay tuned for upcoming research results!

Filamentous Fungi workshop

The department is running a one day workshop on Filamentous fungi on Thursday 31 August.

Filamentous fungi, usually known as moulds, are a particular and very interesting group of microorganisms with many applications in our daily lives (e.g. food and antibiotics). They can also be responsible for diseases in plants, animals and humans. Since we can find them virtually everywhere, and we come across them on regular basis, it is of our best interest to know more about them.

This short course will provide you general knowledge on the biology of filamentous fungi and have a hands-on practical introduction to the basic methodologies for daily laboratory manipulation of fungal strains. It is aimed at everybody with an interest in mycology and biodiversity in general.

To book your place and for more information on costs and timings click here

Student’s research hoping to halt butterfly decline across Britain

          An Edge Hill student is researching populations of a rare butterfly to try and halt their decline across Britain. PhD student Michelle Davis is investigating the genetic diversity of the colourful and brightly patterned Marsh Fritillary butterfly (Euphydryas aurinia). Despite once being a popular sight across Britain and the object […]

Student’s research hoping to halt butterfly decline across Britain

          An Edge Hill student is researching populations of a rare butterfly to try and halt their decline across Britain. PhD student Michelle Davis is investigating the genetic diversity of the colourful and brightly patterned Marsh Fritillary butterfly (Euphydryas aurinia). Despite once being a popular sight across Britain and the object […]

Biodiversity Action Plan for the campus

Final year Biology student, Josh Styles, has spent his 3 years at Edge Hill developing a Biodiversity Action Plan for the campus.

This has involved the discovery of the Dune Helleborine orchids (Epipactis dunensis) on campus. In 2014 there were fewer than 10 plants, in 2016 this had increased to 86 and in 2017 the count is at 198. This species is nationally scarce with fewer than 100 hectad records for the species (a hectad is 10 km squares of the National Grid) see distribution map below.

This three years of field study has then followed on to creating a Biodiversity Action Plan for EHU. You can view  Josh’s biological survey results here and his full action plan here.

The Biodiversity Action Plan identifies habitats and species on campus including species of conservation concern and invasive species. The objective of Josh’s report is to inform the management practices undertaken by the grounds staff in order to manage and improve biodiversity on campus. Within the report are provided several management recommendations such as pond and meadow management regimes.

Additional to management recommendations are biodiversity improvement measures to improve diversity. This includes native planting schemes within new developments, the application of green hay to the university meadows from species rich grasslands and the placement of bat and bird boxes.