Highlight Topics for 2022/23 studentships


Please see below for the links to register for the Highlight Topics workshops:

Urban ecosystem resilience to city living – Dr Jill Edmondson (University of Sheffield). 24th August – 1.00pm (one hour): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acce2-highlight-urban-ecosystem-resilience-to-city-living-tickets-164113789763

The role of microbes in a sustainable future – Dr Jamie Hall (University of Liverpool). 25th August – 1.00pm (one hour): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acce2-highlight-the-role-of-microbes-in-a-sustainable-future-tickets-163377976927

Right tree, right place, right reason – Dr Stephen Cavers (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology). 26th August – 1.00pm (one hour): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acce2-highlight-right-tree-right-place-right-reason-tickets-163613543513

For reference and information, this year’s Highlight topic areas are detailed below:

Urban ecosystem resilience to city living

More than 80% of the UK population live in cities and towns, and are reliant on the vital socio-cultural and environmental benefits provided by urban greenspaces. This has been very clearly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, during which the majority of the UK population relied on urban greenspaces for exercise and their daily dose of nature. Whilst these urban greenspaces are crucial to mitigating many of the adverse effects of urban living for the human population, we understand less well how the pressures created by the urban environment (e.g. extreme heat, pollution) affect urban greenspace function and biodiversity.  This highlight topic will explore the negative effects of city living on urban greenspace function and resilience.

The role of microbes in a sustainable future

The diverse microbial communities present in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are crucial to ecosystem function. These microbes have the potential to provide sustainable solutions to many of the global challenges identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals – for example SDG 2 Zero Hunger or SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). This highlight topic will explore how microbes could be used to enhance sustainable management of terrestrial or aquatic
ecosystems.

Right tree, right place, right reason

Tree planting is widely accepted as a nature-based solution to both the climate crisis and flood risk.  The UK government has committed to plant 7,000 ha of woodland annually by the end of this parliament (May 2024 – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tree-planting-rates-to-treble-by-end-of-this-parliament). However, planting the right trees in the right place for the right reason across the UK landscape needs informed decision making, which should be supported by research-based evidence.  This highlight topic will explore the environmental, socio-cultural and biodiversity benefits and disbenefits of woodland expansion in different UK ecosystems.