Biology | University of Oxford
The depleted environmental microbiome of urban areas is thought to underpin the increased risks of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) observed in residents. NCDs place a huge financial and social burden on human economies. Therefore, I am working with Katrina to design a project that assesses how to optimise human-environmental microbiota interactions. My aims are to (1) quantify the level of microbial biodiversity in different urban green spaces, (2) estimate the economic value of microbial biodiversity as providing NCD-mitigation ecosystem services, and then (3) design effective incentives to encourage implementation of urban green space design strategies that promote high levels of microbial biodiversity. This project will have a role in informing optimal health-promoting urban designs, potentially stimulating a new line of microbiome-inspired green infrastructure.
Imperial College London
Salt marsh provides many benefits to people, some of which are difficult to quantify. I will be investigating salt marsh's role as an important nursery habitat for several species of fish which are later caught and sold for human consumption. My aim is to quantify the value of salt marsh as a habitat for plaice, bass, and sole in the North Devon Biosphere Reserve by using residency as a proxy for dependency. To do so, I will use a residency index to estimate proportion of time spent in salt marsh, and use this to estimate how much of the total value for these fish can be attributed to salt marsh.
Read Hannah's research here
University of Queensland
Minjerribah or North Stradbroke Island –or Straddie– has important biodiversity, indigenous, and social values, which are negatively impacted by invasive alien species, specifically red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus). This research project will provide management advice for non-native terrestrial predator management on Minjerribah by:
Gathering local and indigenous cultural knowledge to support species management;
Proposing potential eradication strategies; and
Providing guidance on optimal feral animal control strategies according to community values and management objectives proposed by local stakeholders
The findings will be relevant for optimal invasive species control, and will provide new methods to increase participation from local communities in the early development of management plans that can be applied on other populated Australian islands.
Read Hernán's research here