macad Glasgow Natural History Society: Lectures and Tutorials

Winter Programme

Meetings will take place online for the foreseeable future; the following list gives speakers and dates only, titles of the talks will be added in due course. Where there are two lectures listed for an evening, each will last about 30 minutes.

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Tuesday 14th
7.00pm Lecture: Hugh Warwick: Why did the hedgehog cross the road?

Hugh Warwick will give an illustrated talk about the problems faced by hedgehogs in the UK, including an answer to the rather unfunny joke! He started studying hedgehogs in 1986 and has never really stopped. He is the spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation society and the author of six books (so far) of which only three are about hedgehogs.

Tuesday 12th
7.00pm Lecture 1: Sarah Raymond, Cardiff University on ‘Project Splatter’: driving our understanding of UK roadkill patterns through citizen science.

Sarah Raymond is a NERC GW4+ funded PhD researcher at Cardiff University, under the supervision of Dr Sarah Perkins and Dr Elizabeth Chadwick. She works as part of Project Splatter, a citizen and community science roadkill recording project, established in 2013. Members of the public can download the Project Splatter app and submit roadkill sightings from any time and place across the UK. To date, the project has almost 85,000 records and the team use these data to understand spatial and temporal patterns in roadkill risk for different species. Sarah’s research is specifically focusing on the impact of roads on animal behaviour, the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on UK roadkill and the effectiveness of current road mitigation techniques at reducing roadkill and increasing connectivity.

Lecture 2: Kieran Dick-Doyle Wee Forests: A tiny but powerful solution to Glasgow’s climate emergency.
Background on Kieran and the topic:

I’m an architecture professional working for an office in central Glasgow called Keppie. During my Master’s degree at Strathclyde University in 2017, I researched the idea of regenerating vacant and derelict land across Glasgow through the strategic planting of trees, shrubs and grasses to clean the soil and air, providing an invigorated environment for new social / community / education spaces to develop around. In the summer of 2020, during the first Lockdown, I then used this knowledge/experience to work with an environmental charity called Earthwatch and a local design incubator called After the Pandemic to bring a novel urban forestry concept to Glasgow, that seeks to implement some of the concepts I originally explored. We had a prototype ’Tiny Forest’ installed in a public park in Easterhouse in January 2021 and have a dozen more in development this year to capitalise on the exposure to Glasgow that COP26 will bring. In addition to this, in Spring 2021, the Scottish Government picked up on the concept and initiated a year long trial to test if Wee Forests are a viable means of addressing Scotland’s climate goals.

Tuesday 9th
7.00pm Lecture: Andrew Painting: Regeneration: Lessons in landscape-scale environmental restoration from Mar Lodge Estate

In 1995, the National Trust for Scotland set out on an ambitious 200 year plan to restore the fortunes of Mar Lodge Estate - 30,000 hectares of Caledonian pinewood, rolling moors and bogs, and subarctic mountains. This plan would bring together environmental conservation, Highland sport and open access for all. The only problem was the ancient Caledonian pinewoods were dying, and it would take radical measures to save them.

Twenty five years later, Mar Lodge Estate is at the forefront of ecological restoration in the Highlands. In this talk, ecologist and author Andrew Painting will talk through the challenges and successes of this pioneering work, and discuss the lessons that we can learn from this special landscape for our changing upland environment. Andrew's book on the subject, Regeneration: The Rescue of a Wild Land, has been well-received and is available to purchase from most bookshops.

Tuesday 14th
7:00pm, New Guinean Begonias and their Glasgow Connection: Hannah Wilson

Hannah is a botanico-horticulturist, having achieved an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity of Plants at RBGE/Edinburgh University, and then recently completed her PhD at RBGE/Glasgow University. She’s currently working full-time as an horticulturist at RBGE with the indoor department as part of the Edinburgh Biomes team, as well as being the botany tutor for the RBGE diploma in Botanical Illustration.

Her talk will focus on begonias of New Guinea, linking them back to Glasgow as much as possible, beginning with an overview of the 1987 Glasgow Trades House Expedition to Papua New Guinea and then how she incorporated specimens from this expedition in her PhD research. She’ll cover the diversity of Begonias on New Guinea (including images from her own fieldwork), as well as presenting an estimation of historical biogeography of the group within Southeast Asia.


January 2022
Tuesday 11th
7.00pm Lecture: Deborah Davy: Research into the population of Exmoor ponies at Cochno Farm

Forty years ago, when I moved to the Highlands, I 'inherited' a small herd of Exmoor ponies along with my croft. I was a 'horsey' person, but knew nothing about Exmoors and wild equines generally. Exmoors are a primitive, endangered breed and I became involved in mapping and monitoring the breeding population, actively breeding some of the scarcer bloodlines within the breed. The ponies live independently on 4000ha of hill in the Highlands and I was very impressed with their survival traits and how they appeared to 'fit' naturally into the hill environment.

2021 is the Exmoor Pony Society centenary and part of their celebration was to fund my PhD in Exmoor pony conservation and rewilding. Believed to be an ancient breed, I will talk about my work investigating their origins, protecting their population, their ecological interactions and their role in rewilding. I'll also talk about the newly-established herd at the University's Cochno Farm.

Tuesday 8th
7pm by Zoom: Photographic night: Darren O’Brien will present the results of the annual photographic competition, and any members’ short talks which are offered.

Tuesday 8th
AGM and Mike Rutherford ‘Bioblitzing in Trinidad and Tobago: from Tucker Valley to the backyard’
Friday 11th
Joint meeting with Hamilton and Paisley NHS. This will be an in-person talk in Hamilton. Speaker: Clifford Bain on the peatlands of Scotland

More details on these, and dates of further talks to be advised.

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