SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENT,
NATURAL RESOURCES AND
DISSERTATION TITLES - 2010 11
YSGOL YR AMGYLCHEDD,
ADNODDAU NATURIOL A
TEITLAU TRAETHODAU HIR – 2010 11
The University's bilingual policy allows students to present course work in English or in Welsh.
Students may therefore submit their dissertation in either language. Where a project title appears in
Welsh in the list above, the staff member can supervise the project in either language and can
provide comments on draft work submitted in Welsh. Welsh medium support is also available for
those projects whose title is written in English only and students can discuss this with the project
supervisor or with Dr A. Pommerening the School's Welsh Language Co-ordinator.
Mae cynllun dwyieithrwydd y Brifysgol yn caniatáu i fyfyrwyr i gyflwyno gwaith cwrs yn Saesneg
neu'r Gymraeg. Gall myfyrwyr gyflwyno eu traethawd hir naill ai yn Saesneg neu yn Gymraeg. Ble
mae teitl prosiect yn ymddangos yn Gymraeg yn y rhestr uchod, gall yr aelod o staff oruchwylio'r
gwaith mewn un o'r ddwy iaith a pharatoi sylwadau ar waith drafft a gyflwynir yn Gymraeg. Gellir
cynnig cefnogaeth trwy'r Gymraeg ar gyfer prosiectau gyda theitl wedi ei ysgrifennu yn Saesneg a
gall myfyrwyr drafod hyn gyda goruchwyliwr y prosiect neu gyda Dr A. Pommerening Cydlynydd
Cynllun Iaith yr Ysgol.
DISSERTATIONS TITLES OFFERED BY:
Dr Robert Brook
Dr Graham Bird
Dr Christine Cahalan
Dr Paul Cross
Professor Thomas DeLuca
Dr Jacqualyn Eales
Dr James Gibbons
Mr Ian Harris
Dr John Healey
Dr Neal Hockley
Dr Julia Jones
Dr Amin Kamete
Dr Eifiona Lane
Dr Morag McDonald
Dr Hussain Omed
Ms Sian Pierce
Dr Arne Pommerening
Professor Colin Price
Professor Andrew Pullin
Dr Paula Roberts
Dr Mark Rayment
Dr Katherine Steele
Dr Tom Yarrow
Dr Prysor Williams
Dr David Wright
DR GRAHAM BIRD
Room F23 – Thoday Building
Hydrological controls on trace metal fluxes from abandoned metal mines.
Trace metal and As content of groundwater in North Wales.
Trace metal uptake to vegetation used in mine waste remediation.
Wind-blown trace metals dispersal from Parys Mountain: implications for enrichment of
agricultural soils and/or house dust.
DR ROBERT BROOK
Room S4 – Thoday Building
Post-hoc surveys of agroforestry projects in south India, possibly involving willingness to pay
survey for services provided by agroforestry. In conjection with Neal Hockley. See me as soon
as possible to discuss your proposal.
Eco-physiology studies on the silvo-pastoral experiment at Henfaes. In conjunction with Mark
Rayment, Doug Godbold and other members of staff.
Study of effects of composted urban solid waste on soil biological activity or crop production
(rice or maize) in Bangaldesh. A small amount of supporting funding may be available. In
conjection with Paula Roberts and Prysor Williams.
DR CHRISTINE CAHALAN
Room G19a – Thoday Building
Adaptation to climate change: is there enough adapative genetic variation within tree
Data would be collected from Forestry Commission provenance trials around the country
(students will need their own transport)
Impacts of climate change: effects of reduced summer rainfall on the growth of tree (or other
plant) species and provenances. [With Rob Brook and Mark Rayment]
This would be a greenhouse experiment done at Henfaes over the spring / summer of 2010.
Suitability of tree species for continuous cover forestry: effects of shade on the growth of
seedlings of tree (or other plant) species
This would be an experiment done in the shade tunnel at Henfaes over the spring / summer of
2010; forest observations could made as well (but not instead) - students will need their own
transport for these
DR PAUL CROSS
Room S1a – Thoday Building
Using geometric morphometrics to discriminate three honeybee subspecies in North Wales
Over the past century UK honeybees have been cross-bred with European subspecies strains. It is
thought that this loss of genetic purity may have contributed to the honybee’s ability to flourish in the
UK environment, making it susceptible to disease. Honeybee subspecies can be very precisely
discriminated using molecular methods, but those methods are not easily accessible to beekeepers as
the services of molecular laboratories are expensive. Morphometric methods are much more
available. Currently beekeepers discriminate European subspecies by measuring only a few
morphological characters, including cubital index, proboscis length, and colour marking on abdomen.
Discrimination could be significantly improved through the use of all characters of standard
morphometry, but manual measurements of multiple characters are time consuming, so beekeepers
rarely take advantage of standard morphometry. One solution is to increase the number of wing
measurements because, unlike other body parts, wings can be measured automatically. The aim of
this study will be to determine the purity of Apis melifera melifera (The Northern European honey
bee) in North Wales. This will involve sampling bees from hives in North Wales and particularly
Anglesey and measuring wing characteristics. These characteristics will allow subspecies to be
discriminated. This in turn will allow suitable mating areas to be identified with a view to improving
the adaptability of the bee to its environment and disease. A need to map the distribution of the sub-
species using GIS tools will be essential. The student will gain an in depth knowledge of handling bees
and will explore the issues relating to strain purity.
DR PAUL CROSS
Room S1a – Thoday Building
Butterfly Conservation Masters student projects 2011
Welcome to the list of MSc student projects for 2011 offered by Butterfly Conservation – the world’s largest
insect conservation charity. All of the eight projects listed have a direct conservation application including
autecological studies, assessment of management practices and monitoring. We are looking for motivated,
enthusiastic students to do the projects, who are keen to pursue a career in ecological research and biodiversity
conservation. Insect conservation really needs a new generation of bright and dynamic scientists and these
projects could help provide a stepping stone along this career path.
We aim to provide a high level of support, including training where needed, and access to the expertise with the
relevant member of staff and library facilities at Butterfly Conservation Head Office. Butterfly Conservation staff
will provide guidance on setting up the project, technical advice and general support alongside your university
supervisor who, as primary supervisor, will provide guidance particularly during the analysis and write up phase.
Statistical support at your university will be required. In return, we are looking for a similar level of commitment
and we expect a report to Butterfly Conservation and where the work is of sufficient quality there is a high
expectation that you will do some follow up work to publish results in a scientific journal.
Will the Drab Looper disappear from the Wye Valley?
Training in species ID, habitat mapping, timed count methodology and the use of GIS will be provided. The project will
involve both working with a member of Butterfly Conservation staff, volunteers as well as lone working. Transport is
required. Timing: April-May for habitat mapping; May-June for adult surveys.
Validating reduced effort methods to assess Duke of Burgundy abundance
Fieldwork could be undertaken in one of several remaining strongholds (e.g. North York Moors, Cotswolds, Wiltshire Downs,
Hampshire, South Downs) and the student would need to have their own transport to access the sites.
The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth in South Wales
Training in habitat mapping, species identification, larval surveys, and habitat condition assessments will be provided. The
project will involve working with a member of Butterfly Conservation staff as well as lone working. Transport is required.
What else are Brown Hairstreak hedges good for?
The project area is in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, the Brown Hairstreak’s Welsh stronghold. Transport is likely to
be required and the project will require lone field working.
Increasing egg laying opportunities for the Grizzled and Dingy Skipper – testing management methods
Training in identification and instruction on how to locate the eggs will be given. The project will consist of field work
between May and July and will involve lone working and the student will need to have access to transport.
The invertebrate guild associated with Devil’s-bit Scabious – are there differences between sites which are managed for
the Marsh Fritillary and/or where Marsh Fritillary has been lost?
Fieldwork will take place from May to July/August and it is envisaged that sites in Dorset will be investigated but other areas
within the species’ range could be included (Devon, Cornwall and Wiltshire for example). Training on Lepidoptera and
hostplant identification will be given and some knowledge of invertebrates would be an advantage.
Where is the Wood White in the Forest of Dean?
ID training will be provided and the project will consist of field work between May-July 2010. The project will involve lone
working and the student will need to have transport.
The conservation of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and its patchily distributed host plant at a landscape-scale
ID training will be provided and the project will consist of field work between May and September. The project will involve
lone working and the student will need to have transport.
PROFESSOR THOMAS DeLUCA
Environment Centre Wales
Influence of bracken fern on soil nitrogen and phosphorus
Assessment of free-living nitrogen fixation along a soil toposequence
Influence of biochar on soluble pools of soil organic matter
DR JACQUALYN EALES
Room G1e – Thoday Building
Is conservation education effective?
Education in zoos falls under two broad categories- the education of general public and directed
training programmes for conservation practitioners. Though many resources are directed towards
education and training by zoo and other conservation organisations it is rarely evaluated. The need to
develop a method or evaluation tool by which educational programmes are evaluated for their
effectiveness is therefore a high priority. Such a framework may be used routinely by such
organisations to track their success and adjust education programmes according to their outputs. The
evaluation tool may take the form of a participant questionnaire, a tool for scoring the education
programme based on its characteristics and outcomes, a combination of the two, or another format.
Do management interventions effectively reduce or eradicate populations of American Mink
What are the effects of these management interventions on non-target species?
Introduced American Mink (Mustela vison) are a cause for concern to many UKconservation
organisations, game keepers and farmers, as an invasive species. M.
vison were first introduced into the UK in 1929 on fur farms for the fur trade. Escapes
led to breeding in the wild, first known to occur in 1956 (Usher 1986). Further
releases both accidental and deliberate have led to feral populations of M. vison
becoming widespread across Britain (Chanin 1981). The problem of invasive mink is
not restricted to the UK. Their presence in Europe is perceived as a growing threat to native
biodiversity (Moore et al. 2003).
Management interventions to control M. vison include hunting with dogs, shooting
and lethal or non-lethal trapping. There are no UK-approved fumigants or poisons for
M. vison, and whilst forms of immuno-contraception have been explored (Macdonald
and Harrington 2003) there are no reports of their use as a management intervention.
With each intervention there is the possibility of killing non target species (Short &
Reynolds 2001), and further disturbing the area, therefore non-lethal trapping is the
most commonly used intervention, as non-target species can be released if caught.
This dissertation is proposed as an update to an existing systematic review by Tyler et al. (2005)
(www.environmentalevidence.org/SR7.htm) which aimed to determine the effectiveness of control
methods to reduce the population numbers of M. vison, and any possible deleterious effects of
control techniques. Due to advances in trapping techniques, this review is a good candidate for
update by considering evidence generated in the last 5 years.
DR JAMES GIBBONS
Room F6a – Thoday Building
Beyond willingness to pay: Modelling the understanding of conservation issues. Would
combine a survey with modelling.
Effect of climate change on upland ecosystem services. Related to the WADES project
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sci_programmes/Water/Wades_Project/index.html potentially two
How far can the field of medical ethics be applied to conservation studies?
Modelling the effect of climate change on land use. Emphasis to be decided by student.
Possible examples systems are, among others, UK farming, Sub-Saharan Africa
The effect of risk aversion on the optimal structure of payments for environmental goods.
The theory of species-area relationships, can neutral theory be reconciled with the niche?
Would be a mathematically orientated project.
MR IAN HARRIS
Room G17 – Thoday Building
Floristic changes in the Nant pastures (Coedydd Aber NNR) through implementation of a
haymeadow management regime. (with CCW - Hywel Roberts).
Modelling catchment nutrient budgets and balances using the EDINA Agcensus statistical data
within a GIS framework.
A critical analysis of the EA Water Framework Directive Risk Assessment in Conwy (using GIS).
DR JOHN HEALEY
Room S7 – Thoday Building
Ecosystem restoration; landscape ecology; vegetation dynamics; biodiversity; invasive plant
Tropical/temperate forest/woodland ecology/silviculture
Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in forest and agroforest ecosystems
DR NEAL HOCKLEY
Room S1b – Thoday Building
Social and economic aspects of natural resource management, rural development, conservation or
Students are invited to contact me to discuss their own project proposals in the above areas.
What determines the speed of adaptation to environmental change in Bangladesh?
Field-based project in conjunction with Rajshahi University, to measure the transmission, adoption
and success of new ‘low-tech’ natural resource technologies which aid adaptation to environmental
change (sea level rise etc). The student(s) would work with Bangladeshi colleagues. Some funding is
available for this project.
How should we communicate environmental goods and services to the public in stated preference
studies of the environment?
Surveys are commonly used to estimate people’s willingness to pay for environmental goods and
services, which in turn can have profound impacts on policy. Photographs are often used to represent
environmental features (e.g. forests) in surveys but there is evidence that the choice of photograph
may have a significant effect on respondents stated preferences. This project would take a rigorous
sampling approach to measure the variability in preferences caused by differences between
photographs. Would involve field work, surveys and data analysis anywhere in the world.
What is the impact of off-road cycle lanes on traffic volumes?
Off-road cycles lanes have been heavily promoted as a way to encourage more sustainable forms of
transport. Critics argue that they encourage car-based recreational cycling, and “hide” cyclists away.
This project would used interviews to investigate the effects of cycle facilities on traffic volumes and
the attitudes of drivers and cyclists.
Post-hoc evaluations of agroforestry projects in S India
Rigorous evaluations of rural development projects are rare, especially after the end of the project’s
funding. This project will evaluate the environmental and socio-economic impacts of agroforestry
projects, possibly using stated preference techniques. With Rob Brook.
The carbon implications of ecotourism and the implications for national park funding of a transition
to a low-carbon economy.
Ecotourism is a major source of funding for conservation, and may contribute to the conservation of
forests in some areas. However, virtually any form of tourism entails greenhouse gas emissions.
Would involve data collection through administered questionnaires, as well as quantitative skills.
Geographical focus to be determined in consultation with the student, interviews could be conducted
in the UK or elsewhere.
PROFESSOR DAVEY JONES
Room S7 – Thoday Building
Managed sea re-alignment and the creation of salt marsh environments:
This project will investigate the deliberate flooding of agricultural land in East Anglia as part of the UK’s
coastal defence programme. The project will investigate the impact seawater flooding has had on soil
quality or plant diversity and the creation of new habitats (This project is joint with CEH-Bangor).
Impact of grazing on biodiversity in salt marsh environments:
This project involves undertaking fieldwork at one of the UK’s best known historical grazing exclosure
sites on the Ribble estuary. It can look at either plants or insects diversity in response to grazing (This
project is joint with CEH-Bangor).
Impact of grazing on soil quality in salt marsh environments:
This project involves undertaking fieldwork at one of the UK’s best known historical grazing exclosure
sites on the Ribble estuary. It will look at key aspects of soil quality and will provide training in
measurement of key physical, chemical and biological quail parameters (This project is joint with CEH-
Ecosystem valuation of sand dunes.
Case study based at Newborough Warren (This project is joint with CEH-Bangor).
Critical evaluation of novel mechanisms for nitrogen uptake by plants.
Can plants really take up organic nitrogen in large quantities.
Nitrogen cycling in mosses.
An investigation of the ways in which mosses take up and release N into the environment and their
potential role in ecosystem functioning.
Effect of trees on hydrology and their role as a flood risk management tool.
This will use the study site at Henfaes.
This will involve analysing the impact of temperature and drought in heathland ecosystems around
Europe. The project is called INCREASE and full details are available at http://www.increase-
Impacts of Biochar on forest soil quality and its role in greenhouse gas mitigation.
Comparison of the effects of wood ash and biochar on forest soils. Which is better for
renewable energy production?
What is the best management strategy for lowland heathland restoration? (project joint
with the Countryside Council for Wales).
What is the potential for biochar production in Wales? Can it help balance the greenhouse
gas budget deficit in Wales.
Does food poisoning begin in the rhizosphere?
This project will examine the persistence and activity of human pathogens (E. coli O157 and Salmonella)
in soil and the rhizosphere of different crops, and under simulated organic vs. conventional farming
techniques. There will be training in microbiology, soil science, plant physiology and plant pathology
Seaweed: an unrecognised reservoir for microbial pollution?
The aim of this project is to determine whether the seaweeds in the mussel beds of the Conwy estuary
provide a significant habitat for faecal coliforms and pathogens. This project combines ecology with
microbiology and public health.
Investigating diffuse agricultural pollution.
This project will investigate microbial pollution (faecal coliforms) entering the River Conwy from
agricultural run-off. It will exploit both soil and water microbiology methods and examine the levels of
agricultural chemical pollution (phosphorus, ammonium, nitrate) entering the river from agricultural
DR JULIA JONES
Room F8b – Thoday Building
Do devices mounted on collars prevent cats predating garden birds?
Is payments by results a feasible approach in agri-environment schemes?
What is the relationship between biodiversity rich environments and happiness?
Who buys ‘sustainable’ fish: the position of eco-labelling in UK fish markets.
I am also willing to supervise students who have their own project ideas and want to work on
conservation related topics including payments for ecosystem services, monitoring, management of
Iolo Wyn Lloyd, the Conservation & Heritage Manage of the Forestry Commission has contacted me
about possible MSC projects on BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species on Forestry Commission land or
evaluation of conservation interventions. Please see me if you are interested in this and I’ll arrange a
meeting with Iolo.
DR AMIN KAMETE
Room F18 – Thoday Building
I am interested in supervising anybody examining land use planning and environmental law in
resource/land management. I particularly welcome anybody dealing with issues of environmental
governance and the legal, policy and political issues involved in the global South.
Themes could be:
The politics of land/resource management
Assessing the enforcement of environmental/planning law in land/resource
Evaluating the legal and institutional framework for environmental governance
The effectiveness of land use planning as a tool for resource management
DR EIFIONA LANE
Ystafell F17 – Adeilad Thoday
Cymhariaeth o fethodolegau mesur/addasu ol troed Carbon yn lleol.
(Comparison of Methods of measuring Carbon Footprints of Localities)
Astudiaeth cymhathu dulliau mesurol a dulliau ansoddol o gynllunio gweledigaeth gymunedol
(A study of synthesising a new methology (from combined quantative and qualitative
methods)for planning sustainable community visions.
Trafodaeth rhanddalwyr o gysyniad o ddyfodol gefngwlad cynnaldwy e.e.pobl ifanc,
( Stakeholder discussion of future sustainable countryside e.g. young people,farming families)
Testyn o ddewis myfyrwyr trwy drafodaeth gyda ETL i'w datblygu. (trwy'r Gymraeg yn unig
through medium of Welsh only)
DR MORAG McDONALD
Room G17a – Thoday Building
Funding is available (on a competitive basis) for a project in the Cockpit Country of Jamaica to
assess biodiversity change over a 10 year period from forest plots. The research will involve a
significant element of field work, plus GIS.
A range of projects may be available using data from the Snowdon Environmental Change
Network in collaboration with CCW. An overview of the network is available on
www.ecn.ac.uk; potential projects can be developed on an individual basis. Funding will be
provided by CCW.
River restoration options in Afon Barlwyd, a river running from the large slate quarries in
Blaenau Ffestiniog. The river has a reputation of being a "dead" river, and an ongoing river
restoration project exists to help to clean it up and restore biodiversity
Several topics have been proposed by Sabine Nouvet, the National Trust monitoring ecologist
at Hafod y Llan, Snowdonia that Environmental Forestry and CLM students met in the first
module. These are listed in the attached. Please note that Students are welcome to contact
Sabine to discuss any of these topics, but must then identify a potential supervisor who
agrees the topic before suggesting it as dissertation titles.
- The grazing response of cattle to various treatments of a Molinia dominant bog (cutting/burning/raking): this project would require input
from the student in developing a proposal for the various treatments early in 2011, and then help with the monitoring before and after the
treatments in May/June/July.
- Changes in woodland regeneration following changes in livestock grazing patterns (goat culls, cattle and pig introduction): this project
would draw on the last 4 years of seedling and sapling surveys done on the farm, but would require the student to repeat those transects in
May. New plots, where pigs and cattle have been introduced, will also have to be established and surveyed.
- Upland bird communities of Gelli Iago and Hafod y Llan: upland bird species can be used as excellent indicators of the habitat condition
where they are found. It is hoped that this project will eventually play a part in a larger, landscape level partnership between the NT and
RSPB. This project would be based on set transects established and surveyed in
2007, and would draw on habitat maps generated in the same year. Fieldwork would require repeating the bird transects, and establish
further bird or habitat surveys to compliment current data. The student should have some experience of bird identification by song.
- Woodland bird communities of Hafod Garegog and Hafod y Llan: woodland birds are in serious decline, and any information about the
population and species diversity is of great value in the UK. The project would draw on transects done in 2008, which can be repeated and
compared with habitat surveys and condition analysis from 2008 and 2011. The student will need to be able to identify over 30 species of
birds by song, previous experience is essential.
- Heathland management in Eifionnydd. This project would require the student to survey different heathland sites in Eifionnydd, assess their
condition, and come up with ideal management plans for them, including burning. Establishing baseline monitoring of the sites where
changes in management are proposed would also be necessary. The project would
directly influence future management of these sites.
- Rush meadow management in Eifionnydd. The student would work with the area warden, monitoring officer, and farm manager at Hafod y
Llan, to assess the condition of the rushy fields on the property and develop a management plan for them. The management plan would
include some restoration for agricultural use, but also habitat improvements for wildlife. Establishing baseline monitoring of the sites where
changes in management are proposed would also be necessary.
Sabine Nouvet: firstname.lastname@example.org
DR HUSSAIN OMED
Room F26 – Thoday Building
Nutritive value of pasture under Agroforestry systems in North Wales
Biological techniques for producing edible mushrooms and upgrading feeding quality straw
for ruminant nutrition.
Buffaloes as alternative livestock production system in the UK
Welfare of broiler chicks under different production systems.
MS SIAN PIERCE
Room F16 – Thoday Building
Twristiaeth gynaladwy neu twristiaeth eco : ai dyma wir dyfodol y diwydiant twristiaeth ?
Eco or Sustainable Tourism : Passing fads or the real future of the tourism industry?
Sustainable communities: what is their place in urban space?
Cymunedau cynnaladwyol : beth yw eu lle yn y gofod drefol?
Dwi'n barod i ddatblygu gyda myfyrwyr unrhyw syniadau eraill sy'n ymwneud a chefn gwlad /
trefoli a thwristiaeth.
I am also happy to discuss and develop ideas with students. The particular areas in which I am
interested are rural issues / urbanisation or tourism.
DR ARNE POMMERENING
Room F2 – Thoday Building
Gall myfyrwyr gwneud gwaith traethawd hir dan oruchwyliaeth Dr Arne Pommerening mewn tair
ordd gwahanol. Students can get involved in dissertation work supervised by Dr Arne Pommerening in
three different ways:
Gall Dr Pommerening drefnu gwaith traethawd hir fel rhan o brosiect ymchwil yn Ewrop neu America.
Dr Pommerening can organise dissertation work as part of an existing research project in Europe or
Annogir myfyrwyr cynnig eu syniadau ymchwil eu hunain ym maes biometreg goedwigol, coedwriaeth
ac ecoleg feintiol. Gellir trafod syniadau myfyrwyr gyda Dr Pommerening. Students are encouraged to
come forward with their own research ideas in the general areas of forest biometrics, silviculture and
quantitative ecology. Student ideas can then be discussed with Dr Pommerening.
Gall myfyrwyr ddewis un o'r pynciau canlynol: Students can select a dissertation topic from the list
Datblygu a phro dyluniad samplu ar gyfer amrywiaeth coed a biomas. Developing and testing
inventory designs for tree diversity and biomass.
Dadansoddi canlyniadau cynnar arbrawf plannu o dan ganopi. Analysing early results of an
underplanting experiment at Clocaenog forest.
Dadansoddi patrymau gofodol cytre_ mewn coedwigoedd llydanddail. Analysis of spatial
colonisation patterns in broadleaved forests.
Modelu datblygiad carbon a biomas gyda model coed unigolion. Modelling carbon and
biomass development with an individual-based tree model.
Astudio dynameg dyfu mewn coetiroedd cymysg bedw - sbriws Sitka yng Nghoed y Brenin yn
seiliedig ar ddata cyfres amser. Study of the growth dynamics in mixed birch - Sitka spruce
woodlands at Coed y Brenin based on growth series data.
Pwysleisier bod modd ysgrifennu a chywyno unrhyw traethawd hir trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. It is
emphasized that any dissertation can be written and submitted through the medium of Welsh.
PROFESSOR COLIN PRICE
Room G6 – Thoday Building
Titles to be provided.
Please contact Professor Price directly if you are interested in a project in his subject area.
PROFESSOR ANDREW PULLIN
Room G1 – Thoday Building
What is the evidence base for carbon sequestration by forest ecosystems?
What do conservation managers read?
Creating a web-based dissemination system to support evidence-based practice
Does burning degrade blanket bog? Updating a systematic review.
DR PAULA ROBERTS
Room G3 – Thoday Building
1. Newidiadau yn ffynonellau Carbon yn dilyn gwasgaru gwrtaith organig fel compost. Bydd y prosiect
yn edrych ar newidiadau yn y pyllau Carbon wedi i ni adio compost wediei drin, a gwastraff gwyrdd
Changes in carbon pools in soils that receive regular organic amendments i.e. composts or anaerobic
digestate. This will look at changes in soil carbon following application of raw and composted wastes in
the first instance.
2. Afon Barlwyd – astudiaeth o ffyrdd o fwyhau afon lygredig ym Mlaenau Ffestiniog. Mae’r prosiect
yma yn adeiladu ar ddata a gasglwyd gan fyfyrwyr meistr llynedd ar lefel ac effaith y llygredd ar fywyd
yr afon. (efo Morag McDonald)
Afon Barlwyd – a study into potential methods of remediating a polluted and canalised river system
in Blaenau Ffestiniog. This will build on MSc projects completed last year into types of pollution and
river biodiversity. (with M. Mcdonald)
3. Oes rôl i “ffwng septa tywyll” yn nhyfiant planhigion uwch o’r Antarctig (efo Davey Jones).
Do “dark septate fungi” play a role in N nutrition of Antarctic higher plants (with Davey Jones)
4. Compost fel deunydd gwelyo anifeiliaid. Prosiect yn gweithi gyda cwmni bychgain sy’n ceisio datblygu
marchnad wahanol I gompost gardd. Mae dau brosiect ar wahan
a. Newid yng nghemeg u compost wrth iddo gael ei ddefnyddio fel deunydd gwelyo a’I werth fel
gwrtaith planhigiol, (efo Rebecca Huck).
b. Ail-heintio a pathogenau anifeiliaid a dynol, (efo Prysor Williams
Compost as animal bedding. Working with a small company interested in ways of developing the green
waste compost market looking at the following: each will be separate projects
c. Changes in chemistry of compost when used as animal bedding and its plant growth potential
(with Rebecca Huck)
d. Re-infection with known animal pathogens (with Prysor Williams)
5. Oes posib creu uwchbridd efo compost fel sylfaen? Gweithio efo cwmni lleol sydd a diddordeb mewn
datblygu defnydd gwahanol i’w compost, (efo Rebecca Huck).
Can you create an alternative to topsoil using municipal compost as a base ingredient? This project
works with a small local company interested in developing alternative routes for their composted
wastes, (with Rebecca Huck).
6. Oes gwerth mewn trin gwastraff bwyd cyn ei gompostio? Gweithio gyda cwmni lleol sydd a diddordeb
mewn datblygu ffyrdd o rag-drin gwastraff bwyd, (efo Rebecca Huck).
Is there any value in pre-treating food waste before composting? Working with a small local company
interested in ways of pre-treating food waste before composting (with Rebecca Huck)
7.Newidiadau cemegol yn y broses o aeddfedu compost
Chemical changes in the compost maturation process
Mae croeso i unryw un sydd a diddordeb mewn datblygu ei syniadau eu hunain gysylltu a mi
Any student keen to develop his/her own ideas are also welcome to contact me
DR MARK RAYMENT
Room F8a – Thoday Building
Undermanaged tree resources on National Trust properties
The National Trust owns over 2500 ha of woodland in Wales, in around 150 sites ranging from 0.2 –
255 ha. Projects are available to consider, 1) the potential for utilising this resource for sustainable,
high quality, timber production in terms of quantifying the mount and (size) assortment of
harvestable products, 2) the correlation between measures of the number of trees, and the amount
of timber, obtained from National Inventory data, CCW phase 1 data, satellite imagery, and ground
truth, 3) optimising the locations of new tree plantings using a spatially explicit ecosystem services
Ecosystem resilience and plant diversity
Biodiversity is often considered to underpin ecosystem function, and particularly the resilience of
ecosystems to stresses. Using data from a global network of ecosystem monitoring studies (Fluxnet),
this project aims to determine whether there is a link between ecosystem plant diversity, and the
ability of ecosystems to function during periods of extreme climatic conditions.
Effects of Jatropha production on soil carbon
Jatropha is being increasingly cultivated as a drought-resistant crop for the production of bio-fuel and
animal feed, in semi-arid areas. There is little information, however, on the long-term effects of
Jatropha on soil quality. This project aims to investigate whether Jatropha production can improve
the soil carbon status of degraded soils.
Spatial heterogeneity of greenhouse gas fluxes
Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, CH4 and N2O, are produced by soil biota, the amounts of each
produced depending on the quantity and quality of substrates available and the micro-scale
environmental conditions. Consequently, there is often spatial heterogeneity in fluxes of GHGs
measured at the soil surface. This project will use a combination of flux chambers and micro-
meteorological methods to asses and quantify this spatial heterogeneity.
Cashew seed production
International Relief and Development (IRD) are currently running a large project aimed at improving
food security in West Africa by developing cashew production. Working with IRD, this project may
include, 1) surveying and characterising existing cashew varieties or land-races, 2) determining what is
necessary to cultivate and maintain high quality seed to serve as foundation seed, 3) determining best
practice in pruning and grafting seed trees.
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES – SERIES OF PROJECT
Ecosystem services – series of projects
Ecosystem services@Henfaes – a series of projects
Nearly 20 years ago, an agroforestry experiment was set up at Henfaes. Broadleaf trees were planted
in an agricultural field in a variety of arrangements , and their effect on the growth of grazing
livestock was monitored. Although the term wasn’t in use at the time, this was a study on
“ecosystem services” – in this case the “provisioning” service of food production. Nowadays, we
recognise other ecosystem services too; things such regulating services, supporting services.
Up to 15 projects are available to investigate the full range of ecosystem services provided by the
Henfaes agroforestry plots, the biophysical processes that underlie them, how much these services
are worth, and how they might be traded off against one another. You may choose to look at
regulating services such as carbon sequestration (including biochar, allometric relationships, soil
carbon quality, etc.) or flood risk mitigation (including soil physical properties, root distribution, etc.).
You may look at supporting services such as nutrient cycling (including biological N-fixation,
greenhouse gas emissions, litter turnover, etc.) or provisioning services (including grass quality,
timber productivity, etc.). Alternatively, you may like to look at aspects of biodiversity that are
thought to underpin all ecosystem services (including pollinators, earthworms, bird etc.), or you may
have your own idea for a project based at the Henfaes agroforestry plots, for example, looking at the
behaviour of sheep grazing in the different treatments.
Please note that these are individual projects but you will be working collectively, as a research team,
to answer a significant, and policy relevant, scientific question.
Supervisors involved in this set of projects include Dr. Brook, Dr. Cross, Prof. deLuca, Dr. Gibbons,
Prof. Godbold, Ian Harris, Dr. Healey, Dr. Hockley, Prof. D. Jones, Dr. J. Jones, Dr. McDonald, Dr.
Omed, Dr. Rayment, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Walmsley.
DR KATHERINE STEELE
Room 807, Alun Roberts Building
Genetic diversity in rice or barley
The aim is to identify markers that may be useful for marker-assisted selection in crop breeding.
Molecular markers will be used to compare different varieties of either barley or rice. Marker loci will
be assigned to physical maps through comparative genomics approaches. Agronomic and
morphological traits will be recorded in glasshouse or field (for barley) experiments at Henfaes.
DR TOM YARROW
Room F22 – Thoday Building
I am interested in supervising anybody wishing to take an anthropological /ethnographic
approach in their thesis (regardless of topic). I am also interested in supervising students who
have their own project ideas on sociological topics in relation to environmental issues.
DR PRYSOR WILLIAMS
Room F5a – Thoday Building
The effects of flies on human health (co-supervised by Prof. Davey Jones)
Eat your greens: Are plants a viable alternate host for human pathogens? (co-supervised by
Dr Richard Quilliam and Prof. Davey Jones)
Mycorrhizae inoculation of grass seeds: a major development in food production? (co-
supervised by Prof. Davey Jones, Dr Paul Withers and Dr Rob Brook)
DR DAVID WRIGHT
Room F21 – Thoday Building
Impact of short term flooding on crops and/or pastures
In addition to higher temperatures and CO2 levels climate change is also associated with a
greater frequency of extreme weather events. In recent years several regions of the UK have
experienced short or long flooding and this experimental based project would investigate the
effects of this on crops, grassland, or other plant communities of your choice.
Use of bracken compost as an alternative to peat
Although peat has a number of advantages as a horticultural medium its suitability and
sustainability for this purpose is being questioned. It is now possible to purchase compost
made from bracken as an alternative and this experimental based project will critically
evaluate its suitability as a replacement for peat.
Over the last 20 years a wide range of government schemes has been introduced to promote
environmentally sensitive farming and protect the countryside and wildlife. This literature
based project will require students to review these schemes, their uptake and adoption by
farmers, their successes and failures, and to highlight how such measures might be taken
forward in the future.
Competition between crops and weeds
Weeds compete with crops for light nutrients and water and thereby decrease yields. This
experimental project will investigate whether there are significant differences in competitive
ability between different crop varieties that might, for example, be exploited in organic
CYMDEITHAS ERYRI – SNOWDONIA SOCIETY
FOR FURTHER DETAILS, PLEASE SEE:
Hussain Omed – Room F26
James Walmsley – Room S27
Volunteering at the Snowdonia Society - an evaluation of conservation outcomes (invasive
species removal, footpath maintenance, habitat protection and enhancement...)
Conflicts between different recreational users of the National
2a. Kayakers and fishermen
2b. Climbers and landowners
2c. Offroad vehicles, powerboats and tranquil recreation
Other sensible proposals relating to conservation, recreation and
land use in the National Park
Three peaks challenge - charity vs environment (another colleague, Jaqui Eales, is keen to
offer this as a student project and already has discussed it informally with the SNPA).
SAVARI RESEARCH TRUST
FOR FURTHER DETAILS, PLEASE SEE:
Room 807, Alun Roberts Building
Is the causal agent of potato late blight the same as tomato late blight?
Supervisor: Katherine Steele
External collaborator (if any): Savari Research Trust (Dave Shaw)
Contact info: email@example.com
Brief outline: Late blight (Phytopthora infestans) is a major disease of potatoes in the UK,
causing huge economic losses. It also prevents commercial production of tomatoes being
carried out outdoors. Insights into resistance would benefit UK agriculture and could lead to
resistant varieties being developed. In this project the student will collect samples of the
pathogen from UK tomatoes and potatoes and compare them using SSR (microsatellite
markers) to determine whether the same pathotypes are responsible for the disease on both
School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography
MASTERS DISSERTATIONS 2010 / 2011
Please read these notes carefully and sign the bottom of the sheet
1. ALL students must give THREE choices.
2. You must choose three dissertations from three different SENRGY supervisors.
3. If you have discussed a dissertation of your own design with a particular supervisor, you can put
this as your first choice and we will do our best to accommodate you. However, you must give
Please complete and submit by 5 PM on FRIDAY 10 DECEMBER 2010
to the Masters Course Administrator in room G16.
CHOICES FOR MASTERS DISSERTATIONS 2010/11
Name of student
Masters degree course
Name of title (from SENRGY list, or your own title) Name of Supervisor
Ysgol yr Amgylchedd, Adnoddau Naturiol a Daearyddiaeth
TRAETHODAU HIR MEISTR 2010 / 2011
Darllenwch y nodiadau hyn yn ofalus a llofnodwch waelod y ddalen
1. Rhaid i’r HOLL fyfyrwyr roi TRI dewis.
2. Rhaid ichi ddewis tri thraethawd hir gan dri gwahanol arolygwr o’r Ysgol hon.
3. Os ydych wedi trafod traethawd hir a gynlluniwyd gennych chi gydag arolygwr penodol, gellwch
gyflwyno hwn fel dewis cyntaf, a byddwn yn gwneud ein gorau i ateb eich gofynion. Fodd
bynnag, rhaid ichi roi dewisiadau eraill.
Llenwch y ffurflen hon, a’i chyflwyno erbyn 5pm DDYDD GWENER 10 RHAGFYR 2010
i Weinyddwr y Cwrs Meistr yn ystafell G16.
DEWISIADAU AR GYFER TRAETHODAU HIR MEISTR 2010/11
Cwrs gradd meistr
Teitl y project (o restr yr Ysgol hon, neu eich teitl eich hun) Enw’r Arolygwr