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Coastal biology

Pembrokeshire, Wales

puffin on a rock

Taking place in the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this field course provides an introduction to the diversity of organisms in marine food webs across a range of coastal and intertidal habitats, including estuaries, rocky shores, sandy shores, sand dunes and saltmarshes.

It covers important concepts relating to marine food webs and trophic cascades as well as the dynamics of coastal ecosystems and how human activity affects these environments.

You may also have the opportunity (weather and tide permitting) to study the behaviour of vertebrate predators at the top of marine food webs by visiting grey seals, Manx shearwaters and puffins on Skomer Island.

Group work and independent research

The course involves working in groups to develop key skills relevant to the study of marine and intertidal life, learning a number of species identification and ecological survey techniques, before taking samples back to the laboratory for further analysis.

You will also have the opportunity to plan and carry out a research project that allows you to investigate a topic of your choice in greater depth, enabling you to gain experience in statistical analysis and presenting research.

This is a residential course based at the Field Studies Council’s Dale Fort field centre – set in a spectacular location high on the cliffs within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It is ideally located for studying a range of coastal habitats (e.g. rocky shores, sand dunes and salt marshes) as well as for accessing Skomer Island with its renowned resident sea bird populations.

There is a fee associated with this field course. Further information can be provided on request.