Dr. Deborah Harvey joined us to talk about ecology on Friday 29th September. She worked on her PhD studying beetles at the Royal Holloway, gaining a 1st and is now a lecturer there. Stag beetles has been a lifelong interest of hers, so she continued her research them to find out how complex they really are. She emphasised to us how vital it is to protect animals that we might not necessarily think about such as flies, beetles and moths. We were then pleased to see that she had brought in moths for us to look at and examine. We were able to do this as she brought phonescopes which we could use as a small microscope which attached to our phones to look at close details of the moth. While holding the moths, she revealed how we could open up their wings to find bright colours.
The majority of moths are actually quite colourful despite people thinking they are normally brown. We brainstormed ideas of how we contribute to our environment and came up with ideas like building bird and hedgehog houses, making bird feeders and placing cameras around to watch out for foxes and badgers. Our climate is constantly changing and this confuses animals of when to start feeding/ breeding. There are also animals which are endangered which you might not think of, such as stag beetles which tend to go unnoticed. She also mentioned how there was a disease going around amphibians generally mass killing frogs. This disease is called Chytrid (Chytridiomycosis) and is infectious between amphibians. This is caused by fungi however, can also be carried in tadpoles.