Masters Student Investigates Flowers, Bees and Trees on Campus

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:08:00 BST

This summer, the Environmental Sustainability team at the University have been lucky enough to be joined by MSc student, Yan Guo, who is researching biodiversity across the campus. Biodiversity refers to the abundance and richness of plant and animal life in a particular habitat, a high level of which is considered important and desirable for the University.

Yan is recording plant species across campus that attracts insects such as bees, dragonflies and butterflies across the University. Field surveying is being used to identify the current status of flowers and insect species in different areas and potential opportunities for improving these. The primary methods for the survey involve a direct observation via line transect walk, and so far, two walk routes have been made separately in the east and west of main Campus. The University environment has been divided into seven sections so that the condition of pollinator services in different areas across campus can be assessed and compared proportionately.

A variety of insect species are attracted to urban as well as large green spaces like in the Peak District. Even the smallest green space, such as a small outdoors flower plant or grassland can attract bumble bees and butterflies. Insect pollinators like these, play a vital role in the reproduction of flowering plants to maintain biodiversity. These habitats are also beneficial for human wellbeing and enjoyment of the outside world.

Yan’s research will contribute to the University's continual effort to maintain and improve a bio-diverse campus with green spaces for its staff, students and local communities.