Fieldwork with the BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology
BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology students have the opportunity to take part in two fieldtrips.  In your first year, you will spend nine days in southern Spain and in the second year you will spend approximately ten days in North West Costa Rica.

Zahara de los Atunes, Spain

<p>Students in Barbate,&nbsp;Cadiz, Spain</p>
<p>Spectacular aerial view panorama of Lake Zahara from Castle of Zahara de la Sierra, a famous village de la Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, white villages, between Cadiz and Malaga, Andalusia, Spain.<br></p>
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Students in Zahara, Cadiz, Spain

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Where do we go?

In the second semester of the first year, you will spend 9 days in southern Spain at Zahara de los Atunes. The town is situated on the beach overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar with Africa visible over the water.

Why do we go there?

The rich Mediterranean flora and fauna coupled with excellent weather and many diverse habitats within a short distance of the town allow us to carry out a wide range of activities on the field course. As the summers are very hot in that area, spring is an excellent time to visit as many plants are flowering and invertebrates are numerous. The area is also famed for bird migration as its proximity to Africa makes it an ideal crossing point for summer migrants entering Europe.

What do we do?

The field course will focus on (a) learning how to identify plant and invertebrate species; (b) developing the skills to gather reliable data in the field; (c) keeping field notebooks, that accurately record information and data for future use; and (d) designing and conducting field-based research studies to generate original biological knowledge. As an example, we would expect to include some or all of the following activities: 
  • Ecological sampling methods.
  • Habitat investigations in a variety of diverse habitats for flora and fauna.
  • Ecology and conservation of coastal habitats.
The trip will end with a project which you will design and conduct while in Spain. There is plenty of opportunity to tailor your project to your own interests, and students have in the past successfully completed projects on broad range of subjects including:
  • Diurnal behaviour of beetles.
  • Effect of invasive species on native flora and fauna.
  • Variation in pollinator visits to diverse floral taxa.
  • Association between parasitic plants and their hosts.
The area of the field course allows you to see some of the specialities of the Mediterranean ecozone including European Chameleon, a wide selection of Fabaceae, birds including White Stork and Bee-eater and butterflies and moths including Spanish Festoon and Emperor Moth

Trip information

When: April in the second semester of first year
Where: Zahara de los Atunes, Andalcia, Spain
Length: 9 days and 8 nights (residential)
Accommodation: Shared rooms in a hotel in Zahara
Food: Breakfast and dinner provided by the hotel. Make your own packed lunch each day or grab lunch in a local tapas restaurant. Vegetarian and vegan options available.

Our fieldwork at Zahara, Spain

Watch this video to see our students and academics talking about their experiences whilst on their first year fieldtrip in Spain.

La Selva, Costa Rica

<p>BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology fieldtrip to Costa Rica: view of rope bridge in the jungle</p>
<p>Students listening to their tutor in the jungle on BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology fieldtrip to Costa Rica<br></p>
<p>BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology fieldtrip to Costa Rica: monkeys up in the trees<br></p>

Where do we go?

Second Year students will spend approximately 10 days in North West Costa Rica and the famous La Selva field station.

Why do we go there?

The station offers a diversity of preserved old-growth and recovering wet lowland tropical forest supporting more than 2,000 species of plants; 125 mammals; 470 birds; 87 reptiles; and tens of thousands of insect and other arthropod species. It is an incredibly safe environment from which to launch students into the remarkable, but challenging tropical forest environment and the field station has an unrivalled resource base (expert guides, a herbarium, lab and classroom facilities) to support our activities.

What do we do?

The field course focuses on (a) understanding the complexity of tropical forest ecosystems; (b) developing the skills needed to gather reliable data in challenging field conditions; (c) using field-based research to generate the biological knowledge to inform conservation practice. As an example, we expect to include some or all of the following activities: 
  • Tropical Forest sampling methods
  • Habitat investigation in day and night-time
  • Camera trapping
  • Conducting your independent project

Trip information

When: April in the second semester of second year
Where: La Selva Field Station, 3 km al south of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Heredia Province, 41001, Costa Rica.
Length: 9 days and 8 nights (residential)
Accommodation: Shared rooms at field station
Food: Full board with meals provided by the Field Station. Vegetarian and vegan options available.

Our fieldwork at La Selva, Costa Rica

Watch this video to see our students and academics talking about their experiences whilst on their second year fieldtrip in Costa Rica.

An interview with Professor Bert Kohlmann

Professor Bert Kohlmann is a tropical biologist specialized on the biogeography focused on dung beetles as his primary study species. He's described 90 species of dung beetles in his career from Mexico to Costa Rica. Amongst other things he's currently focused on the evolution of biodiversity in tropical mountains and the impacts of climate change on these systems. He has been one of Dr Robert Puschendorf's long term mentors and collaborators. During the 2nd year conservation biology field trip to La Selva, he came to speak with the students about his work.

<p>Fieldwork with the BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology to&nbsp;La Selva, Costa Rica<br>

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<p>Fieldwork with the BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology to La Selva, Costa Rica<br></p>
<p>Fieldwork with the BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology to La Selva, Costa Rica<br></p>