Volunteer

Aquatic Symbionts: Assessing the Abundance of Torix Group Rickettsia in Aquatic Insects around the World

Symbionts are known to be an important aspect of almost every living organism. Invertebrates are no exception. They display a remarkable range of symbiotic relationships with bacteria, which are capable of altering reproduction, defence against natural enemies, and play a role in nutrition. Up until now, most work has centred on a bacteria called Wolbachia which is commonly found in insects.

Wolbachia is relatively rare in Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) and other aquatic insects, but recent work has suggested the presence of another similarly pervasive microbe. Our work has revealed that the bacterium Rickettsia is carried in 40% of midge species, and the Azure Damselfly (Coenargrion puella) can carry one or two strains of infection. Data suggests that Rickettsia is a common but underrepresented feature of freshwater invertebrates and our aim is to see how true this theory is.

National Bat Monitoring Programme: Volunteering opportunities at the forefront of Bat conservation in the UK

Daubenton's Bat (J Kaczanow/Bat Conservation Trust)

British Bats need help. Populations of these fascinating creatures of myth and legend have crashed in this country and around the world over the last century. In this country we are fortunate that all British bats are protected by law. However, this alone is not enough.

PondNet: Protecting ponds with the Freshwater Habitats Trust

Freshwater Habitats Trust

This year the Freshwater Habitats Trust (previously Pond Conservation) are rolling out their new national pond monitoring programme to North Merseyside. Merseyside BioBank has been asked to help deliver the project on the ground by putting out a call to local naturalists and volunteers, that means you!

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