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ECN Snowdon research

The Environmental Change University Partnership helps to fund research projects at ECN Snowdon, North Wales

Snowdon - 04-04-2012The Environmental Change University partnership (ECUP) was established in 2008. It is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor University (BU) and Aberystwyth University (AU), with the aim of promoting research on Snowdon.

The partnership first funded a PhD on vegetation and soil chemistry changes on Snowdon over four years. The PhD student – Stephanie McGovern – submitted her thesis in 2011 entitled 'Long-term impacts of Environmental Change on the soils and Vegetation of Snowdonia'.

In addition, ECUP has also supported many undergraduate (BSc) and masters (MSc) student projects (see below).

ECUP is an excellent initiative aiming to increase research at an ECN site, which is well-suited to supporting a range of research activities.


Completed projects:

  • Stephanie McGovern (Bangor University) - Long-term impacts of environmental change on the soils and vegetation of Snowdonia. PhD. 2011. [Link to paper]
  • Francesca Currie (Bangor University) - A genetic comparison of Saxifraga oppositifolia populations in Snowdonia. 2010
  • Hayden Johnson & Caley Brown (CEH and Bangor University) - Peat depth mapping of Cors Llyn Teryn, Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon NNR. 2011
  • Mark Nettleship (Aberystwyth University) - The relationship between altitude and carabid beetle diversity. 2011
  • Gareth Bowen (Aberystwyth University) - Intra- and inter-population genetic distances between J. communis ssp. nana within Snowdonia. 2011.


Projects in progress (2012):

  • Alice Jewer (Bangor University) - Weather and climatic-related variation in surface-activity of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) across calcareous and acid grasslands on Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon, North Wales
  • William Nambiza (Bangor University) - The Influence of sheep grazing on ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) distributions and assemblages in acidic vegetation: An implication for landscape management
  • Lisa Keane (Aberystwyth University) - Proposed BSc. project focusing on a detailed study of factors affecting efficiency of pitfall traps (assessing capture rates and behavioural studies of the beetles' responses to trap edges)
  • Peter Kneen (Aberystwyth University) - Proposed MSc. project on feral goats.
  • Valentina Vitali (SUFONAMA Erasmus Mundus Msc.) - MSc. project on re-vegetation of Landslips [News]


ECUP partners - further information

Aberystwyth University

Bangor University

Natural Resources Wales

NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology