As mentioned in our previous post highlighting the Quantitative Ecology group at the BES, People and Nature proudly support the BES Special Interest Groups – volunteer groups that provide a focus of activity in specific areas of ecology.

The groups organise meetings and events throughout the year and will be hosting an extra special and christmassy social event on Tuesday evening of the Annual Meeting. The social mixer is open to non-SIG members also, so this is a good opportunity to come speak to the groups about their interests.

People and Nature thought this would be an excellent opportunity to speak to a few of the groups, find out what they do, who they are, and why they think the journal can align with their interests.




Who are the Peatlands Research Group?

As the name suggests, we are interested in peatland research. Our aim is to create a central hub between academics, practitioners and policymakers, through organising events that bring together people with different background in peatland science, peatland conservation and peatland restoration.

Our SIG has strong ties with the Palaeoecology Group and the Plants, Soils, Ecosystems Group, the latter with whom we organise the Pinball Blizzard social mixer at the BES annual meeting in Birmingham.

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Ulster Museum: The Secrets of Ireland’s Peatlands: Bog bodies, Volcanoes and Climate change

Last summer we were involved in the organisation of a special session on peatlands at the 9th International Symposium on Testate Amoebae (ISTA9). This strongly academically focused session was followed up by an outreach event at the Ulster Museum: The Secrets of Ireland’s Peatlands: Bog bodies, Volcanoes and Climate change. With over 200 people attending, the event was a success to raise awareness of the character and importance of peatlands to the general audience. The vibrant atmosphere stimulated discussion between ISTA9 delegates, stakeholders (incl. the BES) and the public about peatland science, peatland conservation, and the insights that can be drawn from peatland research.

Following the SIG’s recent leadership change (secterary: Bjorn Robroek, Uiversity of Southampton; vice-secretary Sunitha Pangala, University of Lancaster) we are currently considering future activities.

This is the time to step up and get involved; just come and talk to us at the Pinball Blizzard social event or drop us a line!


Peatlands Research and People and Nature

Membership to our SIG comes through a love for peatlands, yet the angle from which we approach peatland research varies widely. Our members are a nice mix of academics, practitioners and policymakers/influencers, and it is our aim to bring these interests together.

The scope of People and Nature nicely fits the aims of our SIG. Peatlands and people go back a long time, and as such, they have a unique cultural value. Historically, peat cutting brought prosperity to many Western European countries, and unfortunately still has economic incentives in the present day as a fuel source and horticultural medium. Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon and their protection is highly relevant in the context of global climate change. The recent report of the Lancet Countdown highlights a need for urgency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions which, they argue, is strongly linked to the wellbeing of future mankind. Our SIG’s members are highly devoted to increasing our understanding how to keep carbon in the world’s peatlands.


Peatland Research Group at the Annual Meeting: Get Involved!


2342-star-wars-data-east-2We are eagerly anticipating our re-launch at this year’s BES annual meeting 2018. With the Plants, Soil, Ecosystems SIG, we have organise a retro pinball tournament and SIGs battle. Make new friends or challenge old ones on a Ghostbusters, Addams Family or Star Wars pinball machine. There will be ample time to discuss strategies and form new alliances. Come and talk to one of us if you want to get involved or have an idea or suggestion for a SIG event!



Current membership: Bjorn Robroek (University of Southampton), Sunitha Pangala (Lancaster University), Olivia Bragg (University of Dundee), Simon Caporn (Manchester Metropolitan University), Kieran Sheehan (JBA consulting), Marta Simoes (Edge Hill University), Liam Heffernan (University of Alberta, Canada), Vincent Jassey (University of Toulouse, France), Shona Sutherland (University of Sheffield), Magda Steele (University of Southampton).


Keep in touch

You can follow the Peatlands Research Group on twitter: @BES_Peat or drop us a line to be added to our email list


Follow @BES_QE_SIG on Twitter.