Dr Fred Slater
Telephone:+ 44(0)1597 860308
Location:Llysdinam Field Centre, Newbridge on Wye, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6NB
From 1970 Fred Slater worked in the then Department of Botany and Microbiology at what is now Aberystwyth University where he investigated the surface ecology of mid-Wales peatlands. In 1974 he crossed the Cambrian Mountains to take up his present position as Director of the Llysdinam Field Centre, then part of UWIST and now within the Cardiff School of Biosciences.
Over the years his research interests have broadened from the purely botanical of his Aberystwyth days to cover a wide spectrum of the natural history of mainly mid-Wales. However, while at Llysdinam he has been involved in the description of the only distinct species of native flowering plant to be discovered in England and Wales in the twentieth century; the description of a new plant association from ephemeral upland pools and more recently, research into biomass crops, so retaining his botanical credentials.
Some opportunistic work in the 1970s made it clear how little was known of amphibian ecology and distribution and lead him via 5 PhD studies and numerous other postgraduate and post doctoral assistants, to explore this avenue of zoology, contributing over 50 publications to the literature in this field.
With the River Wye flowing almost at the Field Centre’s door, the “charm” of two protected but threatened river species, the otter and our native white clawed crayfish have, through the work of 3 PhD studies, several post doctoral associates and many other students, been subject to considerable investigative attention and subsequent publication. His interests have also ranged from the impact of roads on wildlife, to environmental impact assessment, from river habitat restoration to Indus River Dolphins and from ecotourism to bio-filtration.
His current interests include the production and biodiversity of willow and perennial rhizomatous grasses produced as renewable energy crops; amphibian, otter and crayfish ecology and the ecology of ephemeral upland pools. He is the author of over 150 reports and publications, mainly about the ecology of mid-Wales, including two books and chapters in several more.