Natural Talent 2018
The trainees for the 2018 Natural Talent programme are:
- Joanna Lindsay: Marvellous Mudsnails, Stirling
- Kate Smith: Peatlands and Micro-moths, Stirling
- Nia Howells: Hemiptera as indicators of grassland management and quality, Cardiff
- Holly Dillon: Arachnids (spiders, harvestmen and pseudoscorpians), Shewsbury
- Mathew Dicker: Intertidal Mudflats, Liverpool
- Conor Willmott: Species Discovery, Empowered Communities and the Edinburgh Shoreline, Edinburgh
The Natural Talent UK traineeship programme aims to increase expertise across the whole of the UK to protect our less well known species and create awareness of the habitats that support them. Thanks to funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, this UK-wide scheme follows on from the very successful Natural Talent Apprenticeship programme that delivered 44 apprenticeships between 2006 and 2016, and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Both programmes have responded to identified skills shortages in the conservation sector by providing trainees with the opportunity to develop an expertise in a specific taxonomic group, habitat or a mixture of both. Natural Talent UK is also increasing the capacity of volunteers and communities to play an active role in surveying, mapping and taking action to increase the biodiversity of their local places.
This ground-breaking TCV programme has built upon the existing partnerships that TCV has across the UK, whilst also working with new partners to explore fresh areas of study.
“At RBGE, we have found that Natural Talent UK is effective in supporting exceptional individuals who go on to make a fundamental difference to our understanding of the natural world, and can effectively communicate the importance of nature to society.” Dr Chris Ellis, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
TCV and its partners developed an exciting mix of 12 month placements for 2017, providing each trainee with a bursary of £12,510, as well as a training, travel and equipment budget.
Amy Styles, Natural Talent Coordinator, says: “We are delighted to operate the Natural Talent UK traineeship scheme and help to train the next generation of naturalists. There is a recognised gap in expertise that threatens many of the UK’s lesser known species. TCV’s Natural Talent UK programme aims to change this by giving individuals the opportunity to learn about some wonderful and less well known species and their habitats.”
The trainees for the 2017 Natural Talent programme were:
- Kirsty Grant: Marvellous Mudsnails – Buglife, Stirling
- Ross McIlwrath: Peatlands and micro-moths – Butterfly Conservation, Stirling
- Aroa Sampedro-Fernandez: Species Discovery, Empowered Communities and the Edinburgh Shoreline – Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
- Sue Loughran: Invertebrates and lower plants of mires and heaths – Field Studies Council, Shropshire
- Phoebe Williams: Hemiptera as indicators of grassland management and quality – National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
- Annan Fryer: Mudflats – World Museum, Liverpool
Click on the link to find out more about the trainees and their work.
The placements for 2015 and 2016 were as follows. Click to read the trainee’s case studies;
- Rebecca Cairns: Aphids as Vectors of Plant Viruses – Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Edinburgh
- Katherine Whyte: Saline Lagoons – National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
- Eleanor Lewis: Invasive Non-Native Species – Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR), Northern Ireland
- Lorna Blackmore: Pollinators of Created Meadows – World Museum, Liverpool
- Imogen Cavadino: Non-Marine Molluscs of Living Landscapes – National Museum Cardiff
- Ryan Clark: Entomology – Buglife and Natural England, Peterborough
- Chris Jones: Marine Diatoms – World Museum, Liverpool
- Susan Miller: Marine Invasive Non-Native Species – Heriot Watt University & SEPA
- Anna Hart: Entomology – Centre for Environmental Data and Recording
- Ceri Watson: Saproxylic Insects – Museum of Natural History, University of Oxford
- Liam Olds: Colliery Spoil Habitats – Amgueddfa Cymru- National Museum Wales
- Frances Stoakely: Lichens as Air Quality Indicators – Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
If you’d like to find out more about the Natural Talent UK programme, please contact:
Amy Styles, Natural Talent Coordinator
24 Allan Park
Tel: 01786 479697
Mobile: 07825 056572