Rachel’s role includes planning and undertaking bat surveys and monitoring exercises, interpreting bat data and compiling reports, particularly with regard to heritage projects (such as maintenance and restoration of castles and other buildings) and wind farm proposals. Since joining BSG Ecology, she has also completed survey work for reptiles, great crested newt, water vole and badger.
Rachel has a particular interest in freshwater ecology, and has 4 years’ experience carrying out various related surveys, including identification of freshwater invertebrates from otter spraints and gastrointestinal tract analysis, the results of which were published in The Biologist in October 2010. Before joining BSG Ecology, Rachel developed a project to provide scientifically reliable baseline information on freshwater invertebrate species in the fen in Oxwich Bay SSSI with the co-operation of CCW (now NRW). Her role also involved training two undergraduate students in freshwater water entomological survey techniques and identification.
Rachel holds a BSc in Zoology and MSc with distinction in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management from Swansea University. Her MSc dissertation investigated the temporal and spatial occurrence of leeches at two locations in South Wales, with emphasis on the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis). This project involved developing a method of surveying for and identifying medicinal leeches. As medicinal leech is subject to special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), Rachel held a licence to allow her to complete the research.
In addition to her degrees, Rachel has also completed and passed various fieldwork modules through Advanced Professional Training Swansea University. Since joining BSG Ecology, Rachel has also attended a professional off-road driving training course.
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