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This year’s British Ecological Society annual meeting was rewarding as ever. It has been a few years since I last attended, but great to meet up with colleagues and friends and make new contacts – I am looking forward to seeing more of people in the coming year.

And of course, there were also lots of interesting of talks and posters to keep everyone busy between the lunch and other social events.

It was great to see so many Southampton ecologists (and Southampton alumni) present from across the Faculty – there must have been over 15 of us!

Adham Ashton-Butt presented one of his PhD chapters on the impact that replanting for a second generation of oil palm has on soil quality – a paper which will hopefully be out in the new year. Jen Ball also presented a talk in the Nature and Humans session, where she detailed the perceptions different stakeholders have of the ecosystem services provided by chalk rivers. Work that will inform her work on ecosystem service assessment of the rivers Itchen and Test. Thank you to the talented Holly McKelvey for creating graphic recording of Jen’s talk! You can see more of the Nature and Humans session and other sessions she covered in her twitter feed.

Graphic recording of Jen’s talk by the fantastic Holly McKelvey www.holly-draws.com

New home in SoGES

Arkive image - Grey wagtail female with nest material in beakEleven months after joining the Centre for Environmental Science (CES) in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment in September 2017, I moved across with CES to the new School of Geography and Environmental Science (SoGES) in the Shackleton Building, Building 44, which is on the green side of the Highfield Campus. To an office with a fantastic view over Building 44’s quad and water feature; and enjoy almost daily sightings of the resident female Grey Wagtail.

The move is part of the restructuring of faculties here at Southampton, which has seen the academic units where there is considerable activity, teaching and research, relating to the environment brought together under the new Faculty of Environmental and Life Science. The school (SoGES) itself has a wealth of ecological researchers particularly linked to spatial and temporal processes. Along with some great teaching, sediment and microscopy labs/facilities, which the past year’s and current Masters and undergraduate students have already been making use of for their dissertation projects.

Congratulations, to this year’s MSci and MRes students in Zoology, Biology and Ecology after defending their theses. Great array of talks on mammal communities in Belize, flocking birds in Malaysia, over wintering Bumblebees in urban Southampton and insect diversity of university green spaces to name a few!