Stuart Burbidge - BSc Conservation and Forest Ecosystems

Now works as: Ecologist

Now works for: Strath Caulaidh in Scotland

The main projects I have been involved with since graduating from Bangor have all been linked to my degree in different ways; Conservation and Forest Ecosystems. I spent much of Winter 2015/16 and more recently Autumn 2016 on an island restoration project in the Outer Hebrides. This consisted of living in a stone bothy (or portacabin weighted down with concrete blocks), weathering out the cyclonic gale force 11 winds you get in the middle of the Minch, on the Shiants Isles.

The project aimed to eradicate the invasive black rats from the island, and promote seabird re-colonisation. Systematically baiting the islands, including abseiled off sea-cliffs, we got to know the islands well. The recent Autumn check has shown that the islands so far seem to be clear; the full all-clear will not be given until 2018.

I have spent some time on Christmas Island, conducting seabird research on Abbotts boobies and Christmas Island frigate birds for Hamburg University. In between Island living, I have compiled a management plan for a multi-functional woodland in the south of England.

I am now working for Strath Caulaidh in Scotland. The focus of our work is to model and estimate deer populations across the Forestry Commission estates in Scotland as well as assessing impacts. We generally specialise in research around remote environments and poor conditions. This has also led us to take on some large hydrology projects out in the Scottish hills. I am also in talks to integrate some of my island eradication experience and contacts, as this work would complement our current workload well.