Managing tropical agricultural ecosystems for resistance and recovery of ecosystem processes

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Zoology

Abstract

Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly over the last few decades and represent a significant threat to global biodiversity. This is largely because oil palm is a tropical crop and its increased production has often come at the expense of biodiverse tropical rainforest. However, oil palm is a extremely productive crop, producing a much higher volume of vegetable oil yield per hectare than other oil crops and contributing significantly to the economies of the countries that produce it. Maximising sustainable production is therefore a conservation as well as an economic priority, as increased production in existing agricultural areas may reduce expansion elsewhere and spare remaining forest habitats. A major concern within the oil palm sector is the effect of extreme weather events, such as current El Niño event, on oil palm productivity. This is particularly marked in Southeast Asia, where the majority of palm oil is produced, and which suffers reduced rainfall during El Niño years, reducing palm oil production.
The role of biodiversity within oil palm ecosystems has received little research attention, although it is clear that some species that live within plantations may increase production, for example by contributing to important ecosystem processes, such as pollination, decomposition and control of pests. Although oil palm houses far fewer species than the tropical rainforest it replaces, it is still complex compared to most agricultural systems, with a diverse understory of herbaceous plants and numerous epiphytes growing on the oil palm trunks. It is also a very long-lived crop, with replanting taking place approximately every 25 years. There is, therefore, considerable scope for management practices to increase biodiversity levels within oil palm plantations, with potential benefits for important ecosystem processes and crop yield. Such an increase in biodiversity may have a particular benefit in El Niño years, as this may make ecosystem processes more istant to climatic variation and enable faster recovery following the drought.
This project investigates the impact of the current El Niño event on biodiversity, ecosystem processes and yield within oil palm plantations in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. We also experimentally investigate the potential role of different understory management and replanting strategies in reducing the severity of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem processes, and speeding recovery times following the El Niño event. Findings from this work will be of direct relevance to both agricultural practitioners and to the conservation community and will lead to specific management recommendations for improving the sustainable production of this globally-important crop.

Planned Impact

We have identified six key groups that will directly benefit from the results of this work:

1) Oil palm industry and the wider agronomic industry - results from this work will inform management practice to increase palm oil yield and reliability in the face of future El Nino and other environmental change. These results will also be of relevance to management practice in a range of other tropical agricultural crops.
2) Oil palm workers - the estates where this work is based employs over 5100 workers and includes 7 schools (3000 pupils) and we anticipate a high-level of engagement with oil palm workers. This provides a valuable opportunity to increase public awareness of environmental issues and more sustainable management. In addition, many estate workers also have their own small-holdings, allowing further opportunity for best-practice to spread.
3) Policy makers - results of this work will directly inform sustainability guidelines for best management practice, for example the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) (http://www.rspo.org/) and the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) Foundation (http://www.sustainablepalmoil.org/). We also anticipate making contact with El Niño-specific organisations, such as the UN Focus Group on El Niño, Indonesia (http://un.or.id/elnino/).
4) Conservation practitioners - results from this work will be of direct relevance to conservation. More productive and sustainable oil palm reduces pressure on remaining forest areas, benefitting conservation. The placement of the project at the interface between conservation and agronomy facilitates links and collaboration between these different sectors.
5) Museums - insect specimens collected as part of this study will be deposited in national collections in Indonesia, in local collections at SMARTRI, and in the insect collection of UMZC. These will add to existing knowledge of the biological diversity of the region and will facilitate future research, providing a record of species distributions and by acting as a voucher collection for future projects.
6) Sequencing (NGS) data depositories - data will be made openly available in a timely and responsible manner; data will be deposited in an international NGS depository (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra) and the European Nucleotide Archive (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena), allowing scientific advance outside the scope of this project.
7) UK public - the environmental issues associated with palm oil production are much discussed in the media and are a focus of public attention. However, many of the reports written about palm oil fail to discuss its high productivity per area, economic importance for the countries involved, its widespread global use, or efforts to be more sustainable, instead focussing only on its negative environmental impacts. This project is ideally placed for communicating a balanced story about the costs and benefits of oil palm. We will liaise with the existing innovative outreach work of the UMZC to achieve this.
 
Description We have collected a substantial dataset to address the role of management practices in promoting resistance and recovery of ecosystem processes in an oil palm landscape. This not only includes collecting fine-scale data on a range of key taxa (including soil-surface arthropods, ants, and herbivorous lepidopteran larvae) and ecosystem processes (including soil feeding activity, leaf litter decomposition, predation, herbivory and palm oil yield) in 18 existing mature oil palm plots, but also establishing 6 new plots within recently-replanted oil palm areas. We have also used other targeted long-term datasets from the project to assess the impact of interannual variation in rainfall on key groups. In addition to our published manuscripts, we currently have five papers in review from the project. Key findings include the negative impact of low rainfall on predators such as spiders and the relative robustness of a range of ecosystem processes within oil palm (decomposition, seed removal, pest control, herbivory) to changing rainfall over the 2015-16 ENSO event. We have also identified the importance of understory complexity in oil palm for supporting key taxa, particularly predators such as small carnivores. Our findings have direct management implications for increasing biodiversity and associated ecosystem processes in tropical agricultural landscapes and can be used to inform more-sustainable agricultural practices. These results will be particularly relevant to Indonesia and Malaysia, the two largest palm oil producing countries in the world. To facilitate this, we have communicated our results to our industry partners through regular meetings and progress reports. We have also presented results of our project at industry conferences and to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). We have also worked to communicate results and forge links between researchers working on related topics in the region through a study tour and associated workshop, that brought researchers from our project partner organisation in Indonesia, as well as related projects in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, in touch with other local research centres, the oil palm industry, and the RSPO.
Exploitation Route Our findings are already being used by our local collaborators in Indonesia to inform their local plantation management strategies. We anticipate that in the future our findings will help to inform the development of the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the premier organisation for the accreditation of more sustainable oil palm development. We have already presented results of our work to the RSPO and have worked with the organisation in the development of best practice guidelines for river management. We anticipate that our findings will contribute to the development of more-sustainable oil palm management practices, benefiting growers in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description We have ongoing non-academic impacts from this grant. These include the continued development of our research partnership with Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Research Institute (SMARTRI), including extended visits from Indonesian research staff to Cambridge, supporting their career development; the running of a collaborative study tour for researchers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea between NERC El Nino-funded projects in the region, helping to develop links between early-career researchers; and a schools project to disseminate results of the work and engage school children in conservation activities (see details in relevant sections). The study tour and visits to Cambridge included early-career female researchers from Indonesia and Malaysia, supporting their career development. The net result of this work is enhanced training and increased conservation awareness for researchers from our partner organisation in Indonesia and, more broadly, the implementation of a new project investigating the best options for more sustainable oil palm plantation management of river systems. Findings from our work address aspects of more sustainable food production and biodiversity conservation in agricultural systems and are therefore particularly relevant to Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 15. We have worked hard to disseminate results of our work to inform best management practice, through contributions to oil palm industry conferences and direct liaison with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Over the last year, we have continued to make use of this project in public engagement activities in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, including the development of school materials associated with the work, training sessions for volunteers, and the development of a display on oil palm in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Changing management practices in industry collaborators
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Throughout the project we have worked closely with our industry partners in Indonesia (SMARTRI) to disseminate results of our work and to help deliver knowledge exchange to industry partner staff and researchers and to inform plantation management across Golden Agri Resources Estates. Over the course of the wider project, this has already led to changes in land-management in oil palm estates managed by our industry partners, including a marked increase in the use of beneficial plants (part of Integrated Pest Management activities). This close collaboration has also resulted in the development of a new project investigating the best management methods to restore forest in riparian areas; the first time that such large-scale restoration management has been trialed in oil palm to our knowledge. Over the course of 2017, we also hosted four of our industry partner staff for a month in Cambridge, where they received training in academic writing and analysis. This visit has resulted in a research paper which we have submitted for publication (currently under review).
 
Description Co-author on two related white papers for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) best management practices
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.rspo.org/key-documents/supplementary-materials?utm_source=RSPO+Secretariat&utm_campaign=...
 
Description Matched funding for industry support (£84,196) of research project (the Riparian Ecosystem Restoration in Tropical Agriculture (RERTA) Project)
Amount £39,225 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Isaac Newton Trust
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 12/2019
 
Title Datasets on biodiversity and ecosystem functions within BEFTA plots 
Description We have collected a range of high-quality data on aspects of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and yield from our study plots between April 2016 to September 2017 in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia (N0 55.559, E101 11.619). Data collected every ~ 4 months unless otherwise stated. Biodiversity datasets: Ground-active insect samples; collected using combination traps used in related projects (www.safeproject.net); identification still ongoing; Canopy invertebrates, collected from a single tree in each plot; identification ongoing; Herbivorous Lepidoptera and canopy-foraging ants collected from 3 focal palms trees in each plot; identification ongoing; Ecosystem process data: Soil biological, chemical and physical properties: including bulk density, moisture content, carbon content, soil nutrients (NPK), collected in April 2016 and June 2017; Soil feeding rates, using bait laminar strips, recorded in April 2016 and January 2017. Leaf litter decomposition, using mesh bags, recorded between August 2016 and June 2017; Soil temperature (ibutton dataloggers), recording every 3 hours in all plots; Herbivory data: leaf area damage recorded from 3 focal oil palm trees per plot; Predation data: Simulated herbivore predation; removal of mealworms over a 24hr period; Seed predation data: Standard seed removal (shelled sunflower seeds) recorded over a 24hr period. Oil palm yield: Number and weight of fresh fruit bunch (FFB), collected every month. Meteorological data: Daily meteorological data: rainfall; humidity (daily mean, max and min); temperature (daily mean, max and min); solar radiation (hourly average, hourly max); evapotranspiration; air pressure; and wind speed and direction: from 3 meteorological stations across the site, recorded daily. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not at this stage - database now being completed and being used for ongoing analysis. 
 
Title Research data supporting "Simplifying understory complexity in oil palm plantations is associated with a reduction in the density of a cleptoparasitic spider, Argyrodes miniaceus (Araneae: Theridiidae), in host (Araneae: Nephilinae) webs" 
Description Database accompanying publication: Spear M, Foster WA, Andreas Dwi Advento, Mohammad Naim, Caliman J-P, Luke SH, Snaddon JL, Sudharto Ps & Turner EC (2018). Simplifying understory complexity in oil palm plantations is associated with a reduction in the density of a cleptoparasitic spider, Argyrodes miniaceus (Araneae: Theridiidae), in host (Araneae: Nephilinae) webs. Ecology and Evolution 8(3),1595-1603. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3772 Information on cleptoparasite spider density in host Nephila spider webs in oil palm plantation sites in Riau, Indonesia. Column headings include Plot (oil palm area plot number), Treatment (understory management treatment - E is enhanced, N is normal, and R is reduced), Date (date of survey), Time (time of survey), Weather (weather at time of survey), Spider Height (height of spider in web), Spider size (length of Nephila spider), Web L (total length of web), Web W (total width of web), # cleptos (number of Argyrodes spiders in web), # males (number of male Nephila spiders in web). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None known 
 
Description Collaboration between the BEFTA Project and researchers from NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to investigate the impacts of oil palm management on GHG emisions. 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council
Department Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The BEFTA Project is providing the experimental framework for the NERC CEH team to investigate the impacts of understory management on GHG exchange in established oil palm plantations, as well as support for the project with postdoc time from Cambridge (CEH Ref: project NEC06452. NERC Grant Ref: AP-GRO NE/R005214/1). Our project industry partners are providing significant in-kind support in the form of accommodation, board and lodging, local transport and research assistants. Funding to Cambridge will cover the cost of a postdoc for a month to allow time to liaise with the CEH team in the field. We will also share our long-term data from the plots on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to allow an assessment of how these aspects of the environment are linked to GHG emissions.
Collaborator Contribution The CEH team will set-up and quantify gas flux from the different understory management treatments represented by the BEFTA Project. Our Industry Partners in Indonesia are benefiting from staff training in methods for GHG collection in the field.
Impact Project now underway with data collection ongoing. No publications yet, but preliminary results from project partners. Training of project partner staff in Indonesia.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaborative agreement with the University of Essex 
Organisation University of Essex
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Amendment agreement established for soil metagenomic work on the project established between the University of Cambridge and the University of Essex - £38256.80 NERC contribution. Access to established field sites and sharing of relevant data to support research.
Collaborator Contribution Training of Indonesian-based SMARTRI researchers in collection of field data by Essex team and analysis of genomic samples in Essex lab.
Impact Training of Indonesian researchers in methods for field collection of soil samples for metagenomic work and DNA extraction.
Start Year 2018
 
Description New agreement between the University of Cambridge and SMARTRI 
Organisation SMART Research Institute
PI Contribution Bilateral agreement between the University of Cambridge and Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Corporation Research Institute (SMARTRI), based in Riau Indonesia, for matched funding and in-kind support for a project investigating best management strategies for river margin restoration. This project is now in its second year and has strengthened the existing collaboration between SMARTRI and the University of Cambridge. We have already established a large-scale experiment investigating river margin restoration strategies in existing oil palm landscapes. The project has significant input from Cambridge, including a full-time postdoc working on the project, a PhD student and two masters students in 2018.
Collaborator Contribution The agreement is between the University of Cambridge and Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Corporation Research Institute (SMARTRI), our project partners on this grant. SMARTRI has contributed a significant amount of staff time and direct funding to this project, including towards the Cambridge-based postdoc position, a full-time SMARTRI staff member working on the project, and covering the full costs of laboratory facilities and initiation of restoration practices in the field.
Impact Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge employed full-time to run and manage this project. First set of field plots already established and baseline data collected. Publication describing the project and methodology in draft. Ongoing training and support for SMARTRI staff from Indonesia working on the project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Blog desicribing the activities of a two-week study tour and related school outreach projects 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog describing the study tour and school outreach activities to disseminate the activities to a wider public audience - see https://fieldworkadventures.wordpress.com/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://fieldworkadventures.wordpress.com/
 
Description Brief printed material to allow participants at the Heart of Borneo Conference in Kota Kinabalu and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil annual meeting to learn more about the four El Nino Projects 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Brief postcards were produced that could be picked up by participants at both meetings. These were designed to be easily accessible and to give key results about the projects and where to find more information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Day-long research symposium in Pekanbaru, Riau, focussed on the synergostic impacts of habitat and climate change. Delegates from across El Nino-funded projects in Southeast Asia presented to an audience of industry professionals, a representative from the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil, and academics from both Malaysian and Indonesian Universities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A series of presentations on key findings related to El Nino Projects from funded projects from across the region. The day finished with a panel of experts and feedback from the audience that identified key future areas of research and future collaboration opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Day-long training workshop run in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge in December 2017 on the use of novel imagery sources in museum outreach for partner El Nino project staff and museum professionals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A day-long training workshop in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge including inputs from experts on the use of novel imagery sources in museum outreach and discussion between participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Design and development of a new museum display in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge on the development of more sustainable oil palm plantations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This museum display forms part of a permanent display on more sustainable oil palm management in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. Although this hasn't yet reopened following redevelopment (opening late March 2018), I anticipate that this will reach an audience of many thousands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Development of a bespoke display in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have developed a small permanent display in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge illustrating the impacts of forest conversion to oil palm on biodiversity and the importance of more sustainable oil palm management. Since the Museum reopened in 2018, it has received over 100,000 visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description European Conference on Tropical Ecology, Brussels presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by Sarah Luke: Managing oil palm plantations to maximise biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and yield. Helped to inform the wider tropical ecology community about our research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.soctropecol-2017.eu/
 
Description Four-day insect training course in August 2017, held at the project fieldsite in Riau, Indonesia, to train local collaborators and local government staff in insect identification and ecology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A four-day training course in insect identification and the role of biodiversity in supporting ecosystem functioning. Attendees practiced a range of survey methods and were given the chance to identify insects with the help of experts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker at the Linnean Society, Talk about oil palm 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited speaker at the Linnean Society for talk about oil palm research. Multiple questions from audience and request to run a webinar on oil palm.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in the RSPO Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil RT17, Bangkok. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Participation in the RSPO Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil RT17, Bangkok, Thailand. Discussed project with key representatives from the RSPO Biodiversity and HCV Working Group. Meetings and discussion has sparked interest in more presentations and dissemination of information from the project to the RSPO working group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://rt14.rspo.org/
 
Description Presentation at NatSCA conference on 'Across the Continents' project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at NatSCA conference on 'Across the Continents' project by public engagement specialist from the Museum of Zoology, using public engagement work stemming from the grant as an example of best practice in engaging schools in research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at the European Conference on Tropical Ecology, Brussels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by Edgar Turner: Managing for predators: the role of understory complexity in oil palm. Helped to inform the wider tropical ecology community about our research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.soctropecol-2017.eu/
 
Description Presentation at the European Conference on Tropical Ecology, Brussels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by Jake Snaddon: Soil biodiversity and ecosystem processes associated with habitat complexity, soil management and replanting in oil palm plantations. Helped to inform the wider tropical ecology community about our research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.soctropecol-2017.eu
 
Description Presentation at the European Conference on Tropical Ecology, Brussels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by PhD student, Amelia Hood: The role of ants and termites in supporting ecosystem functioning in oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. Helped to inform the wider tropical ecology community about our research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.soctropecol-2017.eu/
 
Description Presentation on oil palm environmental impact including BEFTA results to SWECO Norge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on oil palm environmental impact including BEFTA results to SWECO Norge, by former postdoc on the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to Entomology and Agroforestry students, Univeristy Putra Malaysia on oil palm research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation to Entomology and Agroforestry students, Univeristy Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia on oil palm research. Multiple questions from audience and development of a new collaboration with researcher from UPM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to Monash, Kuala Lumpur Campus, on oil palm research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation to undergraduate biology class at Monash, Kuala Lumpur Campus, Malaysia, on oil palm research. Positive feedback and questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) , Kuala Lumpur on oil palm research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on oil palm research. Request for further information about research outcomes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to adult group on rainforests and group research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to local WI group on rainforests and group research - positive feedback from the audience and questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to local interest group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to local interest group, Cambridge Natural History Society. Edgar Turner presented a talk: The environmental impacts of oil palm: good crop/bad crop? Lots of interest and questions from audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to primary school 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation to local primary school (St Matthew's Primary School) by Edgar Turner on Sumatran rainforests. Featured discussion about what it was like to work in Sumatra. Lots of questions and engagement by pupils and teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to school students visiting Clare College, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation to Year 12/13 students at Clare College, Cambridge by Edgar Turner on 'Tropical rainforest research'. Excellent level of engagement and lots of questions from students and teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to school teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Invited talk to the NUCLEUS group of learned societies, Biology in the real world series, ASE conference, Reading. Edgar Turner, Sponsored by the Linnean Society, delivered an talk 'Biodiversity and tropical agriculture', which featured the project and sparked interest and questions from biology teachers present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ase.org.uk/ase-regions/anglia/events/2017/01/04/1732/
 
Description Presention about research and insect conservation to Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, Cambridge. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited talk. A general presentation about my research at the SAFE and BEFTA sites and the importance of insect conservation in maintaining healthy ecosystem functioning. Good engagement from the audience and questions about the research. Overview of the talk written up in group newsletter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Rainforest talk to year 6 class visiting Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Interactive talk about rainforests and habitat change to thirty year six students visiting Clare College, Cambridge. The importance of biodiversity and maintaining healthy ecosystems highlighted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Rainforest talk to year 6 class visiting Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Interactive presentation on rainforests to two groups of 30 year six students on rainforests and the importance of biodiversity and conservation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research talk to undergraduate fieldcourse participants 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Research talk by postdoctoral researcher on project to undergraduate fieldcourse participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Resources produced for KS1 and KS2 schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Resources produced as part of grant used in KS1 and KS2 school sessions as part of ongoing Museum of Zoology public engagement activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description School engagement visits to schools in Cambridge, UK and Kandis, Indonesia and the development of a school partnership between countries. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We have developed and implemented a school outreach programme by working closely with an outreach professional from the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. This programme involved targeting primary schools near our study site in Riau, Indonesia, as well as schools in Cambridge and setting up a link between schools from these two countries. School visits in both countries have taken place and students will exchange pictures of local wildlife. At both sets of schools we also developed games to explain the importance of biodiversity and conservation to pupils. Researchers from El Nino funded projects in Malaysia, Indonesia and PNG were also trained and practiced delivering this material, so that school visits disseminating the importance of this work can be rolled out to more schools across the region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk about rainforests and oil palm research to volunteers at the Museum of Zoology Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk about rainforests and oil palm research to volunteers at the Museum of Zoology Cambridge. Multiple questions and positive feedback. Volunteers use information from talks from researchers in the Museum to engage with members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to 6th form students from Canterbury 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to 6th form students (16-18 year olds) and their teachers about the research undertaken in the Insect Ecology Group, including our work on the effects of logging and oil palm plantations in SE Asia. The aim was to give them information about what it's like to to work as a scientist, and also specific information about tropical ecology topics that they were unlikely to have heard about before. Students engaged well with the talk and asked questions at the end.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk to Museum of Zoology volunteers about oil palm/group research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk to Museum volunteers about oil palm/group research by PhD student in the group. Good feedback from volunteers, who often use information from these talks to engage members of the public in the Museum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Webinar on oil palm 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Webinar on oil palm for Institute of Environmental Sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.the-ies.org/events/webinar-tropical-agriculture