DICE PhD student Heléna Turner has written a quick roundup of a recent trip to the Herpetofauna Workers Meeting in Oxford:
It was my first experience attending this year’s Herpetofauna workers meeting held by ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation) Trust. The annual event was held in Oxford between Friday 5th- Sunday 7th February and I attended with fellow DICE students Andrew Buxton, Rob Ward, Aidan Mackay, Rowland Griffin, Darryn Nash along with head of SAC Richard Griffiths. Once there we had a welcome dinner to socialise with the fellow herpers before the conference began the following day.
The conference included a range of talks from local volunteers, students and professionals. Some of the stand out presentations were those that illustrated community participation and talks that summarised the results of monitoring projects. Amy’s talk on Kent Toad Crossings being an excellent example of how a dedicated volunteer can motivate people to get involved in conservation. John Baker’s account of adder monitoring in East Anglia demonstrated the importance of long-term data sets and a commitment to publish evidence that can be used to influence land managers involved in practical conservation. The workshops also provided a platform for statutory organisations to announce new publications and planned changes to the interpretation of conservation legislation.
Finally, the event allowed DICE students to present results of their ongoing research projects. Aidan’s talk on Kent marsh frogs and Rob’s account of Jersey grass snakes were both delivered confidently with interesting findings, as well as Rowland’s stand on Indigo expeditions and I presented my research poster on Bermuda skinks.
It was a long weekend but enjoyable and a great opportunity to meet new people and network, see former DICE alumni, come away with new ideas and approaches as well as being surrounded by like-minded people, I will definitely be returning again next year.