Hi, I’m Mark and I lead the Leeds team for the Urban Pollinators Project. My background is in urban ecology – last year I completed my PhD at Leeds University which explored the ecological and social drivers of biodiversity in residential landscapes. I am particularly interested in how socio-economic factors and human decision-making influence the wildlife-friendly management of private gardens and green spaces at multiple scales in urban ecosystems. These interests have led to me being very keen to survey gardens in Leeds over the last two years – they are always fascinating places to visit and can definitely be beneficial for pollinators and other wildlife if managed sympathetically. There's also the added bonus of being able to chat to friendly householders across the city over a welcome a cup of tea!
|Mark making sure a road verge is wide enough!|
Hi, I’m Kirsty. I have worked on the Urban Pollinators Project for the past two years as a Field Assistant during the summer months, but this is my first blog post! I graduated from Bangor University in 2009 with a degree in Zoology with Marine Zoology. My previous interests were focussed around marine life, but this soon changed when I moved to Leeds University to study my MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation. My Masters project was where my interest in insect pollinators began – I studied bumblebees, solitary bees and hoverflies in urban gardens. I am particularly interested in identifying fluffy bumblebees and colourful hoverflies, but I also enjoy botany and bird-spotting. The past two years on the project have been brilliant; I am very much looking forward to surveying the beautiful flower meadows that will be flowering later this summer.
|Kirsty netting a pollinator in a Leeds garden|
I’m Vicky and I have just joined the team this April as a field assistant. So far we have attempted quite a bit of fieldwork but the weather has often been against us with some almost gale-force winds that just came out of nowhere! However I am hoping that things will pick up soon and improve as I am looking forward to being part of surveying the urban meadows this summer. I am a recent graduate of Leeds myself, completing my Biodiversity & Conservation MSc in autumn 2012. My final master’s project was connected with the UPP in looking at relating the different types of pollinators pan-trapped from private urban gardens to the gardens’ floral resources and characteristics; which has hopefully given me a good background for being part of this project!
|Vicky surveying a Leeds garden|
Hi, I’m Liz and I’m a temporary field assistant on the Leeds team. My background is in Mathematical Ecology and I have recently completed my PhD at Leeds University. I am a keen (but novice!) gardener and bird spotter and hearing about this project over the past two years has inspired me to make my garden as wildlife-friendly as possible. I’m really keen to improve my ID skills whist working on the project and am happy to be involved :-)
|Liz inspecting an urban meadow|
|The Leeds team identifying flowers in a cemetery|