FSC BioLinks

BioLinks logo

FSC BioLinks is an exciting biodiversity project for the Field Studies Council running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. 

FSC BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification. Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning their is a lack of data so conservationists are struggling to fully understand where, when, how or why they're declining.  We provide learning opportunities to help people develop their invertebrate identification (ID) and recording skills. 

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

FSC BioLinks is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Field Studies Council and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. More information regarding the learning opportunities, the project team and published plans and reports from the project can be found below. 

Young adults at carding Mill

Learning opportunities
This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.  Training opportunities will be given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to develop their identification skills.  The training and digital tools will increase the quality and quantity of invertebrate species data being submitted to our national biodiversity datasets and our understanding of those data, which will help conservationists prioritise their efforts. 

The project focuses on two regions – the West Midlands and the South East.  In the West Midlands the Bishops Wood and Preston Montford FSC field centres will be further developed as hubs for this sort of ID training and in the South East, centres in the London Region but especially FSC Bushy Park will be developed as training hubs.  Training will also be provided at other non-FSC locations within the two regions as opportunities arise, building new relationships between the FSC and various partners, as well as reaching new audiences.

Meet our team

Keiron Brown

FSC BioLinks Project Manager - Keiron Brown
Keiron manages the FSC BioLinks project (and co-ordinates the South East training programme) with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain). He first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at Newcastle University and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates from the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo
email: k.brown@field-studies-council.org

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (West Midlands) - Aaron Bhambra Aaron Bhambra

Aaron is an entomologist from the West Midlands who has been studying insects for several years as a pollinator specialist and insect ecologist. His main interests are with ‘urban’ invertebrates and the countless fascinating species which can be found in towns and cities across the UK. His previous research has focussed on solitary bees, developing habitats for these beneficial and often undervalued pollinators throughout Birmingham, with the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species and the British Entomological and Natural History Society. Aaron started his love for bees with the FSC as a volunteer on their Biolinks courses, before progressing through their learning pathway into a tutoring role. He now coordinates the Biolinks courses in the West Midlands region as a project officer.
email: a.bhambra@field-studies-council.org

 

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (South East) - Dan AsawDan Asaw

Dan is a keen educator and Coleopterist. He has experience working within education as a teaching assistant and loves the opportunity to share his experiences and knowledge with a range of audiences. Dan's interest in invertebrates started at a young age and as a teenager he was already rearing praying mantids in his bedroom. From there, he began rearing exotic invertebrate disease vectors for scientific research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In his spare time, he has volunteered integrating UK beetles into the Natural Hisotry Museum Collection. He is often found digging through wood piles and utilising a variety of trapping methods to find and identify beetles. He is an active member of the Herts Invertebrate project and Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and has helped generate some significant county records in this capacity.

email: d.asaw@field-studies-council.org

Digital Development Manager - Charles Roper Charles Roper
Charles is a designer, programmer and digital strategist. He has worked as a freelance web designer and teacher, and spent 13 years at the Sussex Biodiversity Centre, first as Biodiversity Records Officer, then later as Technical Lead. He is currently on secondment from digital services within FSC where he manages a small digital development team. He specialises in bringing together design, technology, and people to create usable, inclusive digital products, and has worked or consulted on numerous projects in the biodiversity sector, including iRecord, The Flora of Sussex, Recorder, the NBN Atlas, and long-term management of the Sussex biodiversity records database.
email: c.roper@field-studies-council.org

FSC BioLinks Marketing Officer - Caroline HowardCaroline Howard

Caroline is a part time Marketing Officer within the BioLinks Project team. Her background is working in zoological collections, where she has long championed the importance of invertebrates. Caroline is the Vice Chair of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group, and the Secretary of the BIAZA Native Species Working Group. She is currently studying for an MSc in Interpretation: Management & Practice and has previously worked on public engagement projects with invertebrates and native species, including the BIAZA Big Bug Bonanza and BioBlitz training for zoological collections. Caroline has been involved with several ex situ invertebrate conservation projects, most notably rearing hundreds of the IUCN Vulnerable fen raft spiderlings (Dolomedes plantarius) for release in the UK.

email: c.howard@field-studies-council.org

 

FSC BioLinks Project PDF downloads

PDFFSC BioLinks Consultation Report. This document summarises the consultation carried out as part of the second phase application process of the FSC BioLinks project.

PDFFSC BioLinks Development Plan for Training Provision. This document formed part of the second phase application of the FSC BioLinks project. 

Contact the team
Email: BioLinks@field-studies-council.org
Phone: 01743 852100 
Address: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. SY14 1HW