Thursday, 29 January 2009

Save Our Bees

As part of the celebrations for this year's National Science and Engineering Week (6-15 March 2009), the British Science Association (formerly the BA) want you to help save UK Bees by planting bee-friendly plants across the country. The 'Save Our Bees' campaign has been launched with a dedicated website and resources for schools.

Billions of the UK's bees are dying from unknown causes and one in three bee colonies in the UK were lost last winter alone. Bees are vitally important: In all, they are responsible for pollinating one-third of all the foods we eat.

Register your interest at the website of the campaign to receive a FREE pack of seeds and a education pack of activities designed for KS1, KS2 and KS3 children.

Look out for further information from the BES later this year, as we develop an event for the 2009 British Science Festival (5-11 September), focused on attracting pollinators to gardens and green spaces.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Standing up for Science 2: Launch Event 29 January 2009

Tomorrow night (29 January) sees the launch of 'Standing up for Science 2: The nuts and bolts', a new publication from Sense about Science building on the success of their initial 'Standing up for Science' publication. Delivered through Sense about Science's 'Voice of Young Science' (VoYS) programme, the publication is targeted at early career scientists who want to promote good science and fight misinformation.

If you are interested in joining the VoYS team at the launch event, for drinks and discussion, then contact

29 January 2009, 5.45 - 7.45pm at the Royal College of Pathologists, London, SW1Y 5AF.

New Model Sheds Light on Mosquito Spread in a Changing Climate

A new study, published online in the British Ecological Society journal, Functional Ecology, uses an innovative model to predict the spread of human disease vectors in a changing climate. Warren Porter, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has developed a unique model, 'NicheMapper', which allows researchers to answer the question: "Where would a species with a particular set of properties best survive and function on the planet?" Uniquely, the model also allows an organisms potential for evolutionary change to be incorporated, allowing the researchers to examine a range of scenarios.

The study focused on the dengue fever vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and on its distribution and abundance in Australia. At present, the mosquito is confined to areas around Queensland, however, by modelling the insect's life history traits, capacity to evolve and climate change scenarios, the researchers conclude that a warming climate will allow the mosquito to expand its range into several populated areas of the continent, over the next 40-years. These conclusions are also likely to apply to populations of the mosquito found elsewhere in the world.

The researchers found that onefactor limiting the ability of the mosquito to spread would be the availability of standing water in which to lay its eggs. Simple measures, such as covering pools and water tanks, could have a large effect in reducing the spread of the insect. However, NicheMapper also allowed the researchers to model the effects on the species' distribution if the mosquito evolved to develop eggs tolerant of dessication; observed in other closely related species. In this case, combined with climate change, the mosquito could spread far, and rapidly.

Warren Porter claims that NicheMapper can be used to model the spread of almost any species on the planet; for example mapping the likely pattern of spread of invasive species. He has developed a company, 'Animaps' to make the software available to the scientific and policy communities.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Shortlisted Projects for Severn Estuary Unveiled

The Government has announced a proposed shortlist of schemes to generate renewable energy form the tides of the Severn estuary. The shortlist is comprised of various barrage and lagoon projects.

The Severn has a tidal range of 14m, making it the second-largest in the world. Successfully harnessing the energy created by the tides would make an enormous contribution to achieving renewable energy targets- the Government is committed to producing 20% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020- as well as assisting in the reduction of UK carbon emissions.

Below is the proposed shortlist:

Cardiff Weston Barrage: A barrage crossing the Severn estuary from Brean Down, near Weston super Mare to Lavernock Point, near Cardiff. Its estimated capacity is over 8.6 Gigawatts – the equivalent of eight typical coal-fired power stations. It could generate nearly 5% of UK electricity and would cost approximately £15bn to implement.

Shoots Barrage: Further upstream of the Cardiff Weston scheme. Capacity of 1.05GW, similar to a large fossil fuel plant.

Beachley Barrage: The smallest barrage on the proposed shortlist, just above the Wye River. It could generate 625MW.

Bridgwater Bay Lagoon: Lagoons are radical new proposals which impound a section of the estuary without damming it. This scheme is sited on the English shore between east of Hinkley Point and Weston super Mare. It could generate 1.36GW.

Fleming Lagoon: An impoundment on the Welsh shore of the estuary between Newport and the Severn road crossings. It too could generate 1.36GW.

Environmentalists have openly criticized the Governments decision to include the Cardiff Weston Barrage as an option. The barrage would cause severe environmental and ecological damage to the area, destroying rare habitats used by 69,000 birds and blocking the migration routes of numerous fish species.

Martin Harper, head of sustainable development at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it was “Hugely disappointing to see the Government still pushing forward with the environmentally destructive option.”

The proposed shortlist, and the original list of projects from which it was created, are now open to a three month public consultation. The final decision on which project(s) will go ahead will be announced in 2010.

Many environmentalists are pessimistic about the outcome, and believe it is a foregone conclusion. FOE Cymru director Gordon James told the Guardian "We have long suspected that the UK government has already decided on the Cardiff to Weston Severn barrage, and that this consultation process is little more than a cosmetic exercise."

Monday, 26 January 2009

BES Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme Opens

Applications are now welcome for the 2009 BES Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme.

The scheme is now in its third year. Since 2007 our ecologists have had the opportunity to shadow two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries (Barry Gardiner MP and Joan Ruddock MP) at Defra, two MEPs (John Bowis MEP and Linda McAvan MP), plus officials from the devolved administrations. Those members of the BES who have taken part have commented on the value of this experience to them; gaining an unprecedented opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how science is used to inform policy-making. Ecologists spend one-two days with the parliamentarian, before spending another day or so with civil servants and policy-advisors.

The full list of Ministers, MEPs and Officials who have agreed to participate in the 2009 scheme has yet to be finalised. However, we are delighted to confirm that the following have so far agreed to take part:

  • Jane Davidson AM, Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing at the Welsh Assembly Government
  • Professor Maggie Gill, Chief Scientific Advisor for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Scottish Government
  • Linda McAvan MEP, Labour Spokesperson on the Environment, European Parliament

If you are a member of the BES and an early-career researcher (no more than eight years since finishing PhD) interested in the science-policy interface, then consider applying. The BES will cover all reasonable expenses you incur whilst on the scheme.

Find out more at the BES website.
Closing date: 27 February

Finding a global solution to Climate Change: 26 January 2009

The Policy Team this afternoon attended a seminar organised by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on ‘Brokering a global deal on climate change’. Speakers Joan Ruddock MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, and Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, discussed the steps needed to secure assent to a comprehensive, truly global treaty on climate change in Copenhagen later this year.

The Copenhagen treaty, successor to the Kyoto agreement, could be judged a success if it contained the following, according to Mr de Boer:

  • Clarity on quantifying emission limitation for developed countries.
  • Clarity on nationally appropriate mitigation strategies in developing countries.
  • Clarity on financial and technological support for mitigation and adaptation, involving innovative new methods of funding outwith carbon markets.
  • Clarity on an institutional framework to deliver support for mitigation and adaptation measures.

The Minister stated that the UK Government was under no illusions about the size of the task as hand but stressed that Government’s commitment to tackling climate change would not falter in the face of the global economic crisis. The global economic downturn did present a challenge to this agenda, said Mr de Boer: in Copenhagen, a method of making climate change mitigation ‘pay for itself’, without the need to mobilise extra finance from Government, should be found.

The Minister defended the Government against comments from the audience that campaigns relying on individual voluntary, rather than society-wide mandatory, action did not go far enough. She stressed that as an elected body, the Government could not realistically impose radical measures upon voters if it wished to retain their support. The Government would instead proceed through consensus building amongst the public, whilst introducing legislation to necessitate business taking action to mitigate climate change which it would not previously have done. She noted that the UK Climate Change Act: to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, is groundbreaking legislation.

Mr de Boer viewed accurate pricing as the key to tackling climate change. The price paid for goods and services should adequately reflect the pollution created through their manufacture or consumption. The effect of this would be to stimulate innovation: to bring renewable energy solutions to the market and so drive down the price of using them relative to fossil fuels.

The commitment to tackling climate change was palpable from both The Minister and Mr de Boer and both were optimistic that a deal could be reached in Copenhagen, particularly given the willingness of the new Obama administration to engage with negotiations. Mr de Boer stressed that further refinement would be needed post-Copenhagen, but that it was vital to reach initial agreement this year.

Shortlist of Severn Estuary Plans to be Announced

A shortlist of proposed schemes to generate renewable energy form the Severn estuary will be announced by the Government later today.

Over the past six months, the Department of Energy and Climate Change have examined 10 projects for converting the Severn estuary’s tidal power into electricity. Five of these have been selected for further investigation and are due to be revealed by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, this afternoon.

Among the proposed schemes is a 10 mile long barrage from Lavernock Point, Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset, which has attracted a lot of controversy and could cost up to £15 billion to implement.

Barrages are essentially dams which span the width of a tidal estuary. They generate electricity in a similar way to hydroelectric dams, except they harness energy from the difference in height between high and low tides, as opposed to the force of falling water.

The Severn, which has the second-largest tidal range in the world – the difference between the highest and lowest tides can be as great as 42ft (14m) – has the potential to generate 5% of Britain's electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly.

However, conservation groups, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, are opposed to the barrage, due to the potential environmental and ecological damage it could cause. For example, the barrage could block the migratory routes for fish such as lampreys, salmon, sea trout and eels, and would destroy rare mud-flat and salt-marsh habitats which are vital to many species wetland birds. They are hoping the less intrusive, but equally efficient options, such as tidal fences, reefs and lagoons will be selected.

The preferred project(s) is to be approved by the Government in 2010 and is likely to be integral to the Government’s long-term targets for renewable energy and CO2 emissions.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Freshwater Mussel Colony Re-Introduced into Scotland

A new freshwater mussel colony has been established at a secret location in the Scottish Highlands. The re-introduction by ecologists offers a chance to address the precipitous decline in the species. The success of the introduction will not been known until the slow-growing mussels become established; in 20 years or so.

Only 150 rivers throughout the world currently support freshwater mussel populations, over half of them in Scotland. Mussels remain threatened in the UK by indiscriminate killing by thieves, keen to find freshwater pearls which can change hands for hundreds of pounds. Speaking to the BBC, ecologist and mussel expert Peter Cosgrove said that his team had discovered a site with 800 mussel kills; the average age of each mussel 80 years: "If you do the maths that's 64,000 years of mussel growth, just ripped from a river and destroyed. The rivers just cannot sustain that". Mussels play a very important role in river ecology, filtering up to 50 litres of water per day.

Killing freshwater mussels has been illegal since 1998, with hefty fines of up to £10,000 for anyone guilty of killing even a single mussel. However, it is thought that no-one has ever been convicted. The police are now working on raising awareness amongst those in the Highlands about the high penalties for those committing such a crime, in the hope that this may prohibit thieves and cause witnesses to come forward.

See more on this story at the BBC News Website

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Fresh Scientific Agenda for the US as Obama takes Office

Scientists have high expectations for future scientific and environmental policy as President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in as America's 44th president later today.

The Bush administration has had a somewhat turbulent relationship with the scientific community over the last eight years, attracting serious criticisms for restricting federal funding for research and their decisions regarding global warming and stem cell research. Obama, on the other hand, has put scientific and environmental issues at the top of his agenda.

In a weekly radio and video address he stated that science “holds the key to our survival as a planet, and our security and prosperity as a nation… It's time we… worked to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology." Since then, he has pledged to reverse Bush's funding limits, and appointed a team of well respected scientists, which has heightened expectations for what actions he will take once he is sworn into office.

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest changes will be the United States policy on climate change. Since his election, Obama has repeatedly indicated he wants to fulfill his campaign promise to create a low-carbon economy and create jobs by investing in renewable energy.

In a speech made at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Obama said his administration hoped to double the production of renewable energy over the next three years while boosting energy efficiency in 10 million homes (1.6% of US housing) and more than 75% of federal buildings. This will require a well-organized, massive injection of funds. Hopefully, worries that America will not be able to afford to convert their promises into a reality in the prevailing economic climate will remain unfounded.

Biological Control of Plant Parasitic Nematodes

Plant parasitic nematodes are a leading biotic cause of yield loss in crops, costing world agriculture an estimated US $125 billion annually. These small (0.25-3mm), unsegmented worms can affect crops in a variety of ways: altering normal root cell division, modifying plant cells for nutrient transfer, transmitting viruses and creating wounds that permit the entrance of other plant pathogens. Yet despite their enormous impact on important crop plants through-out the world, there are no effective, environmentally safe management strategies to treat or prevent plants from nematode infection. However, recent results from the EU-funded EcoTrain Project indicate that natural forms of control could provide a long-term solution to the problem.

Current nematode management strategies are largely dependent upon highly toxic pesticides (nematicides), which are harmful to the physical environment and reduce soil biodiversity by eliminating a variety non-target species.

By investigating the regulation of plant parasitic nematodes in the wild, scientists found that naturally occurring soil-dwelling predators could effectively control various nematode species.

The scientists took various micro-organisms, non-parasitic nematodes and microarthropods (such as mites) from the soil in a coastal dune grass (Ammophila arenaria) system, and examined the effect of different combinations on eight different species of parasitic nematode. Their results indicated that the most effective and sustainable method of biological control could be to treat crops with nematode suppressing soils, which contain a variety of soil-dwelling organisms found in wild plant populations. Their results also suggest that ‘conserving soil biodiversity is crucial in order to enhance the reliability of biological crop protection against soil-borne pests and diseases’.

These findings will undoubtedly be followed up with further investigations and more extensive field experiments. Especially in light of the European Parliaments approval of the Plant Protection Products regulation, which aims to phase out many chemical pesticides in Europe and promote of safer alternatives.

However, as parasitologist Tom Powers pointed out in 1992, the difficulty with this method of control appears to be the ability to transform it ‘into management system that can be manipulated by the growers’. After over 50 years of research, there are still no biological controls that are routinely used against plant parasitic nematodes.

Original Article: Piskiewicz, A.M., Duyts, H., van der Putten, W.H. (2008). Multiple species-specific controls of root-feeding nematodes in natural soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 40: 2729-2735.

The EcoTrain Project is funded by the EU's Research Training Network (RTN) Program.

Additional information:
Tom Powers (1992) Biological control of plant parasitic nematodes: Progress, problems and prospects: by G.R. Stirling, CAB International, 1991. Parasitology Today. 8: 320

European Parliament Plant Protection Products Regulations

Friday, 16 January 2009

Efforts to Support Biodiversity Best Focused on Less Intensive Systems

The authors of a new EU-funded study into the biodiversity of intensive and extensively managed farmland systems have recommended that efforts to conserve biodiversity be focused on less intensively managed systems.

Researchers compared the richness of plant species with levels of Nitrogen input on 130 grasslands and 141 arable fields across six European countries, including the UK. Intensively and extensively managed sites were assessed and the number of different plant species in each plot counted. 'Rare' species were defined as those with less than 1% cover in a study area.

The study found a link between increased Nitrogen inputs and a decrease in species richness, along with a link between the richness of plant species and the richness of invertebrates in the fields. The rare species of plant were shown to be the most vulnerable to increasing land-use intensity and were the most likely to disappear following fertilisation of the fields with Nitrogen.

The researchers found that the decline in species richness with an increase in Nitrogen application was sharper on the extensively managed plots, suggesting that species in these areas are more sensitive to land-use change. This suggests both that efforts to manage such areas sensitively can reap rewards for biodiversity, and also that restoration of biodiversity to intensively managed land will require an enhanced level of effort: lower sensitivity to change will mean that greater change will be needed to get the desired result.

The rate of extinction of species in intensively farmed land is 100 - 1000 times greater than the base rate, and is predicted to increase further in the future. The researchers suggest that the difficulty of restoring biodiversity on intensively managed land following such losses, along with the sensitivity of extensively managed land, means that efforts to preserve biodiversity could best be focused on extensively managed systems.

Original article: EU Science for Environment Policy, 15 January 2009
Research Source: Evaluating Current European Agri-environment Schemes to Quantify and Improve Nature Conservation Efforts in Agricultural Landscapes (EASY) (supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme).

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Government Set to Announce Heathrow Expansion

The UK Government is expected to give the go-ahead to the development of a third runway at London Heathrow later today, following delays to the announcement due to Cabinet unrest.

A new 200mph rail link between London and Birmingham, with a spur from Heathrow to St Pancras station will also be announced.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have pledged to cancel the expansion of Heathrow if either win the next General Election, however certain legal restrictions may make this costly, necessitating compensation to the airport's operator, BAA.

Ministers have described the development as 'green Heathrow' and has offered assurances that EU rules on air and noise pollution will not be breached. Concerns have been raised by NGOs, such as Greenpeace, that expansion of the airport will lead to the Government breaching its own stringent targets on greenhouse gas emissions: a reduction of 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.

Monday, 12 January 2009

CaSE Forum Focuses on the Impact of the UK Science Base

Today saw the participation of the BES Policy Team in an Opinion Forum organised by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), focusing on the impact of the UK science and engineering base. The Forum was the first step towards the publication of a policy document by CaSE, summarising discussion and to be used as a basis for the organisation's lobbying activities.

Participants heard presentations from Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith FRS, former Director General of CERN, Dr Graeme Reid, DIUS, and Professor Philip Esler, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Interesting points were made regarding the distinction between 'basic' (or 'curiosity driven') and 'applied' research; including whether such definitions were in fact unhelpful. Is 'basic' research simply applied research which hasn't been applied yet?

Basic research was seen as a vital component of the UK research base and participants felt strongly that the increased emphasis on Knowledge Transfer by the Research Councils should not be at the expense of 'blue skies' thinking. Basic research has a vital role not only in the possibility it offers of discoveries of enormous economic and practical importance, but also in the contribution it offers to culture and to education: attracting people to science through the often fantastic nature of blue skies endeavours.

Discussion in the afternoon's break-out sessions highlighted the importance of communication between researchers, industry and Government to capitalise to the development of benefits from research, and to effecting a 'culture change' within universities: Knowledge Transfer is important and is something researchers should engage in. Changes are also required in the consumers of research however. Government in particular was singled out as needing to become a more intelligent customer of research. Finally, participants felt that there was the need for the formation of a body to act as an 'independent broker' of research, matching researchers to industry and Government need and vice versa. In some respects, this echoes the work of Learned Societies such as the BES, but at a much wider, cross-disciplinary scale.

For further information about the work of CaSE please visit the CaSE website.

Registration Now Open for 'Natural Capital Initiative' Symposium

Registration has today opened for the inaugural symposium of the 'Natural Capital Initiative' (NCI).

The NCI is a new partnership; between the Institute of Biology, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Ecological Society and Science Council, which aims to bring together scientists, policy-makers and other interested groups to discuss how to better value and appreciate the planet's natural resources.

The three-day symposium will take place at Savoy Place, London, from 30 April - 1 May. The first day will see a number of high profile speakers discuss their views on delivery of an 'ecosystem approach', whilst the second and third day take the form of workshops focusing on land use, planning and the marine environment. The diversity of the expected audience is reflected in the diversity of our confirmed speakers, who include: Professor John Beddington (Government Chief Scientific Advisor), Lord May of Oxford, Professor Gretchen Daily (Stanford University), Baroness Barbara Young (Care Quality Commission) and Lucy Neville-Rolfe (Director of Corporate Affairs, Tesco).

Register before 1 February to benefit from a discount to the registration fee. Members of the BES are also eligible for a discount.

Natural Capital Initiative: Valuing our life support systems 30 April - 1 May 2009

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

US Designates 200,000 Square Miles of Conservation Zones in the Pacific Ocean

George Bush was expected to announce yesterday that he will designate nearly 200,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean as conservation areas. This announcement will make the US President the leader who has protected a greater area of the oceans than anyone else in the world.

Areas to be designated as marine reserves are the Mariana islands in the Western Pacific, a chain of remote islands in the central Pacific and the Rose Atoll off American Samoa. The Marianas Marine National Monument will protect the Mariana Trench: as deep as Everest is tall. The area is home to a wide variety of species, including many species of corals and some of the most diverse fish populations to be found in the Mariana islands. Other species to be protected by the three conservation areas include sharks, turtles, petrels and the Micronesian megapode; a bird which uses heat from volcanic vents to incubate its eggs.

Commercial fishing, mining and energy exploration will be banned within the protected areas. Recreational fishing will be allowed, but only by permit, with the number of permits to be limited.

Although excited by the proposals, conservationists are disappointed that protection will only extend to a distance of 50 miles from the islands: scientists had recommended a protection zone extending up to 200 nautical miles.

Guardian, 6 January 2009: Bush designates ocean conservation areas in final weeks as President.

London Train Company to Tackle Knotweed

A London railway operator, Tube Lines Group, has announced plans to eradicate the invasive Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) from more than 120 sites across London, using the new chemical herbicide ‘Tordon’. If successful, Tube Line will become the first train company in Europe to eradicate the species.

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive, non-native species that was originally introduced to the UK in the mid-19th century. It is notorious for its ability to grow vigorously from tiny pieces of stem or rhizome and can break through drains, brick wall and tarmac as it spreads. Once established, it easily out-competes the vast majority of British flora and can quickly transform the ecosystem it inhabits.

In addition to altering the native flora and fauna, the knotweed can have a detrimental effect on the economy by decreasing the area of land available for agriculture and infrastructure and making certain areas more susceptible to flooding.

Japanese knotweed is difficult and expensive to control using current techniques and an estimated £1.56 billion would be required to eradicate it from the UK entirely. Until now, eradiation programmes have mainly involved digging out the plant or treating it with herbicides, three times a year, over a period of seven years. However, Tube Lines plans to eradicate the knotweed by spraying the herbicide just once a year for two years.

Picloram, the active agent in Tordon, is harmful to plant species other than the knotweed. The US Environment Protection Agency states it is ‘slightly toxic’ to aquatic wildlife, although, the Environmental Protection Agency states it is "practically non-toxic to birds, mammals and honeybees".

If this regime proves to be successful, with minimal impact on non-target species, it may be extended to the remaining London underground services and the national railways.

Original article: Guardian, 6 January 2009; New herbicide offers hope in battle against Japanese Knotweed

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Forthcoming Workshop on 'Space and the Marine Environment'

GLOBE UK will hold a workshop in London on Thursday 22 January on 'space and the marine environment'. Together with partners, including the Advisory Committee on the Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) and the British National Space Centre (BNSC), GLOBE UK will explore the need for mapping and monitoring the marine environment, necessary for setting up marine reserves around Europe. This is a key feature of the Marine Bill, currently passing through the UK Parliament. The speakers will address this and other applications including marine pollution monitoring, fishing, hydrographic surveying, oil and gas exploration, the arctic and carbon sequestration. The event will cover technical, environmental, operation and policy aspects of the contributions of satellites and new systems for the analysis and communication of the data.

The event will be held from 2-6pm in the Boothroyd Room in the Portcullis House, opposite the Palace of Westminster. If you would like to attend this meeting or would like more information, please email

Monday, 5 January 2009

2009 BES POST Fellowship Now Open for Applications

Applications are now invited for the 2009 BES POST Fellowship.

This fantastic opportunity to work at the heart of Parliament in Westminster, London, should not be missed by those with an interest in science policy. Over the three months of your placement, at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, you will be given the opportunity to research and write a POSTnote for MPs and Peers, to work on a parliamentary inquiry or on the production of briefing materials for parliamentarians. The BES will award you a bursary of £5,000 to cover your travel and living costs whilst undertaking the internship.

If you are in the second or third year of your PhD, in ecology or a related subject, then consider applying. The closing date is 6 April and interviews will be held on 22 April, in London.

For more information, see