SNH Upland Habitats Officer
Graham Sullivan (BSc Plant Biology) was a council gardener who came to Aberdeen University through the Summer School for Access. He did his honours project on mountain willows with Scottish Natural Heritage. After graduating he did a PhD on juniper heath, again with SNH. He initially worked as an ecological consultant and is now the SNH Upland Habitats Officer.
Many of our students are inspired by the magnificent scenery and wildlife on our doorstep at Aberdeen, with the Cairngorms a particular draw. Britain's only genuinely arctic/alpine environment is in our backyard, with its eagles, snowbeds and arctic heaths. Of course, there is now concern over the threat of climate warming, making it even more important to understand the functioning of the upland environment.
We encourage our students to become interested in groups of animals or plants, or in the way that different habitats work, and our various field courses give the opportunity to study ecological techniques, such as small mammal trapping, or vegetation surveying, as well as to meet charismatic animals and plants. All students attend at least one field course and this is often the highlight of their studies.
Our staff includes experts on water-voles, butterflies, orchids, ticks, seabirds, domestic animals, forest regeneration and many other special groups of plants and animals, and we always try and encourage a student's developing interest, perhaps by putting them in touch with the right expert. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and the National Museums of Scotland know our students well!
page content last modified: 25th July 2008 15:41:42