Potential projects for students. WTSWW welcomes working in partnership with undergraduate and postgraduate students wishing to undertake research projects in our area.
The following is a list of research projects which have particular relevance to WTSWW, based on and around our nature reserves, whose results would contribute to our ongoing conservation work.
We would particularly appreciate approaches from students interested in taking any of these ideas forward. We are not able to contribute funding to these projects but we will normally be able to contribute staff time and in some cases, equipment.
General (anywhere in our ‘patch’). Contact Lizzie Wilberforce
- We are very short of invertebrate data on many of our nature reserves across our patch. There are opportunities to undertake projects examining invertebrate communities in relation to habitats present and site management.
- Impacts of grazing. Many of our grassland and wetland nature reserves are grazed, most by cattle, some by ponies, and a few by sheep/water buffalo. Opportunities exist to examine the impacts of grazing on these reserves, comparing sites and grazing animals in different habitats. This could include the creation and study of grazing exclosures.
- Some kind of comparison between land in and out of our management. Woods for example? Managed woods and nearby unmanaged to assess benefits?
- If willing to travel, a project based on phenology (particularly comparing first flowering dates for plants) comparing sites across our range.
- Management plan development. Many of our nature reserves have management plans in need of updating, some do not have plans at all. Countryside Management students may wish to consider a project to research and develop a new management plan for one of our sites local to them.
Carmarthenshire. Contact Lizzie Wilberforce
- Distribution and ecology of the lungwort lichen at Castle Woods nature reserve, Llandeilo
- Water quality and hydrology at Talley Lakes SSSI, Talley. Water quality in Talley Lakes has deteriorated over recent years with associated recorded changes in aquatic flora. This study could assess current water quality, relate it to the current flora, and examine potential sources of nutrient inflow at the site.
- Hydrology of Cors Goch NNR, Carmarthen. This lowland raised bog is one of only six or so good remaining examples of this habitat in Wales. We need further research into the water levels and hydrology of the site in relation to flora and site management.
- The current status of the Black Bog Ant at Cors Goch NNR, Carmarthen
- The ecology and distribution of the Marsh Pea at Ffrwd Farm Mire nature reserve, Pembrey.
- Grazing management of Rhos Cefn Bryn nature reserve, Llannon. An assessment of the impacts of grazing and the habitat suitability for key vegetation features and the protected marsh fritillary butterfly.
Ceredigion. Contact Em Foot
- Assessment of the fish population in Llyn Eiddwen nature reserve, including numbers of pike and any other species present. Is the fishing having any affect?
- The age of the trees in Penderi Cliffs, possibly comparing them to those in Cwm Rheidol to assess how their cliff top position has stunted their growth.
- Mammal and amphibian and reptile surveys on many of the reserves.
- Any survey/species work to get up to date information
- Coed Simdde Lwyd- current status of the wood ants
West Glamorgan. Contact Paul Thornton
- Investigating the ecology of local dormice- do they currently use our nature reserve Gelli Hir, and assessment of habitat connectivity. There are recorded populations in Llanmorlais- from there, where they could possibly get to, and where are the weak points? Possibilities for desk-top studies and landowner liaison / ground truthing
- As above but in Berry Wood nature reserve, including an assessment of whether a woodland as small as Berry and with its ecological features is viable to support a population