What is urban ecology?

Urban ecologyUrban ecology examines the relationships between humans, plants and animals and their environment within urban (that is a densely populated area) settings.

Why does it matter?
By examining these urban environments within the context of a wider ecosystem we are ultimately able to build and design healthier and more biodiverse communities. Urban ecology matters because by 2030 it is predicted that 60% of the human population will be living in an urban setting.

What can you do?
Make yourself aware of the impact your choices have on your environment so that you can make more informed decisions. These may be decisions about the best way to reroof your home, how to design a wildlife friendly garden or how to preserve your local green space.

I will be providing more information about this in forthcoming posts and will direct you to relevant websites.

Ecobuild 2009

EcobuildEcobuild is the world’s biggest event dedicated to sustainable design, construction and the built environment. The exhibition was held at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre in London between 3rd and 5th March and is now in its 5th year. There were 800 exhibitors, as well as conference and seminar sessions.

I attended and presented a talk on ‘The provision for birds in buildings; turning buildings into bird friendly habitats’ within the seminar topic ‘Practical biodiversity – Making it happen’. The presentation highlighted the design options available and practicalities of how you incorporate birds within the design of buildings.

A full copy of my presentation can be obtained by emailing me.

Why house sparrow research?

House Sparrow nest boxHouse Sparrows (Passer domesticus) were once a plentiful species but in recent years their numbers have dropped alarmingly, so much so that they are now a red listed species, which means that they are a bird of conservation concern in the UK.

What are the wider implications?
House sparrows have lived alongside man for thousands of years and can be seen as a barometer for the state of man’s environment, almost like a miner’s canary.

Why does it matter?
If House Sparrow numbers are declining what is going wrong with/in our environment?

Why are they worth saving?
House Sparrows are embedded within our culture and lifestyle; they are prevalent in our literature, art and even merit a mention in the Bible. To lose this species would be to lose an aspect of ourselves and of man’s history.

What can you do?
Subscribe to this blog for helpful tips. Support organisations such as RSPB and Natural England who fund vital research.

Urban ecology and the house sparrow

I’m Dr Kate Vincent and this is my blog dedicated to urban ecology. I am an ecological consultant by profession and my PhD doctorate was awarded for my research into the decline of the urban House Sparrow.

Urban house sparrows by shopping tolleysAlthough my PhD research was published in 2006 I still play an active role in continuing research into the decline of the House Sparrow, nationally and internationally. This blog will reference my continuing work with individuals such as Will Peach and Denis Summers-Smith as well as organisations such as The RSPB and Natural England. This will include conferences, media coverage and further published research, and I will include tips on how you can help the House Sparrow, and other species, found in the urban environment.

My passion for urban ecology is practiced daily through my employment as an ecological consultant for Baker Shepherd Gillespie. In this role I am able to apply my research findings in a practical, commercial context. I particularly enjoy projects that allow me to embrace urban design and encourage sustainability.

More information about me and my research into the causes of the decline of the urban House Sparrow in Britain can be found at http://www.housesparrow.org/

For further information about Baker Shepherd Gillespie and the professional services we offer please visit http://www.bsg-ecology.com/