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This year’s £1000 bursary has been awarded to Clare Marshall, an MRes student in marine biology at the University of Plymouth.

Clare has extensive marine conservation experience, having volunteered for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Marine Biological Association, and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, as well as several other organisations. More recently, Clare has become involved in the Bailiwick Eelgrass Exploration Project here in Guernsey, and she is planning to undertake her own research project on the island’s seagrass habitats.

Seagrasses provide several important functions including: blue carbon capture and storage, reducing coastal erosion, and acting as a nursery ground for important commercial fish species and other protected species such as seahorses.

“It is essential to gain a full understanding of seagrass presence, location and composition in Guernsey, which is currently lacking. This small research project has the potential to make a huge impact on the local environment, for instance in advising marine spatial planning. The aim of my research project is to map the extent and biodiversity of eelgrass beds in Guernsey, and extending the project to collect more data from the other islands would be my ambition.”

We also have an update from Charlotte Burgoine, last year’s bursary winner. Charlotte’s final year dissertation research was on the impacts of hedge-cutting on biodiversity in Guernsey, and we were delighted to hear that she was the overall winner of the Sparsholt University Dissertation Poster Competition. We look forward to welcoming Charlotte to the Frossard Theatre to learn more about her research.

Details of the 2022 bursary will be released early next year.