Visit to Liverpool

Myself and a few other 3rd year Biology students joined the 1st year students on a trip to Liverpool yesterday. This is a social event arranged by the department during freshers week each year and it’s an opportunity for the 1st years to get to know each other a bit better; and also a chance to visit the historic city of Liverpool (if they haven’t already!).

The day began with a trip on the ferry across the Mersey followed by lunch in Red Hot in Liverpool One. The students then have the rest of the afternoon to explore the city, before heading back to Edge Hill.

I really enjoyed the day and it was nice getting to know some of the first year students!

New academic year

The summer is nearly over and the start of my final year is nearly here. It’s really surprising how fast the summer has gone; and my first two years at university!

I’m looking forward to starting year 3, and i’m really interested to find out what I will be learning on my new modules. I am well on my way with my Dissertation now; the other modules I have chosen are Tropical Ecology, Ecological Genetics, Current Issues in Biology and Epidemiology… this is my last chance now to make the most out of my time at Edge Hill 🙂

1 year left!

I feel like i’m well on my way into my last year at Uni now 🙂

We got our end of year results the other week and I acheived my target of a 2:1 which I was really pleased with and I feel like i’ve made a good start on my dissertation project too!

I was really nice seeing all the graduation ceremonies taking place at Edge Hill last week… it motivated me to try and really work hard and make the most of my final year here. I am really looking forward to graduating, and I hope I acheive the grade I want!

End of the year

I’ve just come to the end of my second academic year at uni & I can’t believe how quick it’s gone! Well… it’s the end in terms of scheduled lectures and exams but i’ve still got plenty to be getting on with;

The next few months ahead will involve a lot of dissertation work, some part time work, a field course trip and finishing my work placement.

It’s feels good knowing that I have already started my dissertation, as it gives me a chance to get on with a lot of the work over the summer; which will hopefully put me in a much better position for my final year!

I’ll be posting updates over the next few weeks of everything I get up to 🙂

 

Biology & Disease

This week, it was time for presentations for the Biology & Disease module! The group was randomly spilt into two; half the group where to do their presentations on Monday, & the remaing half will present theirs tomorrow (I fell into the first group)!

Our task was to present a summary of a disease of our choice; including details of its cause, symptoms, patiophysiology, history, prognosis… & of course; as many groosome pictures as possible!

With so many intersting (& distcusting) diseases around, choosing a topic was quite difficult… I decided to do my presentation on a condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a type of rheumatoid arthritis of the spine. It’s quite an awful condition which presents many symptoms, & can eventually lead to the spine fusing together completely. There’s an organisation called the National Ankylosing Sponylitis Society (NASS) and they offer a comprehensive source of information, support & membership for people affected by the condition. I would reccomend a look at their website, it is quite an interesting read!

http://www.nass.co.uk/

I look forward to seeing the remaining presentations tomorrow & learning about some more interesting diseases!

 

 

Another year nearly gone!

With the easter break well on it’s way, it’s just hit me that we only have a few weeks remaining once we go back!

We have a week long field based module straight after the easter holidays, by which we develop the skills required for our dissertation. I will be looking at self incompatibility in plants and will be studying the methods required. We then get to present our findings with a poster presentation the following week.

After a few assignments and exams after that, this academic year will be finished! It’s scary how time goes so quick 🙂

Module choices

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again… time to pick module choices for next year, and for me this is the last time i’ll be doing it 🙁

The deadline for all undergraduate first and second year students is Sunday 15th April. I wasted no time and selected my choices on Monday! I decided to make my choices last year when I picked my modules. A lot of the modules follow on from previous modules so I would definitely recommend that students consider modules for all years before making any choices… it certainly made things easier for me!

NGAS research project

The distribution of Small leaved Lime, Tilia cordata Miller in the UK is uneven, with scattered populations throughout south & central England.

Recent climate change & warming has already been shown to be causing major impacts on ecosystems including habitat loss, & shifts in vegetation zones. The likely continued temperature increase in the future may potentially allow more regeneration from seed for Tilia populations in northern UK & possible changes to its geographic range.

Clare Bugg, an Associate Lecturer at Edge Hill is currently carrying out a PhD project that will be examining the links between temperature & fertility in T. cordata. The aim of the research is to predict the likely implications of climate change for this species & aims to answer the following questions:

  • How do populations of T. cordata vary in terms of phenology, pollinator interactions & fertility both on a local & national scale.
  • What are the likely implications of climate change, especially temperature changes on this plants fertility & distribution?

Fruits from populations of T. cordata at Northern & central UK locations have been collected by Edge Hill students/staff in autumn each year since 2000. These have been examined for levels of fertility. Fertility & climate data are being analysed for any associations to establish any links between fertility & temperature. Sampling of further T. cordata sites throughout the UK will occur with the assistance of volunteers in order to gain a UK wide pattern of fertility in this species.

Clare is currently looking for volunteers to get involved in collecting T. cordata seeds from sites around the UK. You don’t need any special skills or experience & it should only take a couple of hours of your time.

I will certainly be helping Clare out with this project & I am very much looking forward to it. As well as contributing to this ongoing work, it will allow me to gain some extra fieldwork skills & hopefully some help with my dissertation too!

If you are also interested in volunteering, feel free to contact me 🙂

Fieldwork

As part of my volunteer work that I am currently doing for the department, I spent last week doing some interested (and tiring) fieldwork in salt marshes! I went to Hesketh Out Marsh in Hesketh, Lancashire & Crossens Marsh in Merseyside.

Hesketh Out Marsh is part of the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) who protect birds & the environment. The need for effective conservation organisations has never been greater. Climate change, agriculture intensification, expansion of urban areas & transport infrastructure & over- exploitation of our seas, all pose major threats to a number of species.

This new salt marsh reserve, along with Crossens Marsh is a great place to contribute towards the ongoing work of the RSPB. We set up various pit fall traps & collected invertebrate samples, which once analysed, the findings will be sent back to the RSPB.

This was a great opportunity for me to contribute to the ongoing research that is carried out within the department, but I was also able to pick up some extra fieldwork skills along the way!

 

 

Volunteer work

Hello!

Started some volunteer work for the Biology department this week. I spent the day working in the labs, sorting invertebrate samples which was really good. It was enjoyable and I was able to gain some well needed practice! I plan to continue this every week 🙂