The Mediterranean Ecology Field courses introduce you to an unusual area of Europe: a semi-desert region that is likely to become the norm across much of the Mediterranean basin.
While there, you will have the opportunity to engage in ecological research projects that may involve bird handling and ringing using mist nets, pollinator monitoring involving bioacoustics recorders, reptile mark-recapture, plant physiology, and molecular ecology using a portable genetics lab. You will work as teams and be responsible for the management of projects, from the initial conception of the idea to the final results.
Work will be presented both in written format through a literature review prior to the course and a seminar given on the final day to enhance communication skills. Throughout the course, you will gain an appreciation of the novel ecology of semi-desert environments and how the local wildlife is under threat from human activity (especially water abstraction). Alongside a core set of ecological field skills, this fascinating field experience provides students with an understanding of the wider landscape-scale links between people and nature and important experience of working in a challenging environment.
Examples of projects:
- Environmental stress & plant performance
- Sex & deceit in orchid pollination
- Pollinator parasites
- Colony size in harvester ants
- The sting in the stone
- Beetles singles bars
- Bird responses to predators & risk
- Preening oil, feather wear & mites
- Lizard thermoregulation
- Wild boar & large mammal activity