I’m Taliesin Valencia and I’m second-year environmental science student at the University of Stirling.

I had the chance to work with the Pollinator Project this summer, as a Field Assistant setting up a malaise trap in a fixed location, collecting samples from it each week, and then taking it down one month had elapsed.

I also helped Maddie Lucas in her field assistant intern role, where we surveyed eight total sample areas in Guernsey and another five in Sark. The purpose of these surveys was to take a small tarsal sample of Bombus terrestris, aka the Buff-tailed bumblebee, in a long-term project that will monitor the impacts of pesticide use across these two Channel Islands. This DNA sample will also enable us to determine how many unique bee colonies there are on the island. Our data is part of seven years of sampling data, which should correlate with the strides in the reduction of pesticide use that the Pollinator Project has achieved. Hopefully, we will see the buff-tail species population increase too!

I have always been interested in the environment around me; and from a young age I preferred non-fiction books about the different ecosystems and species inhabiting our planet. Throughout high school, this interest deepened when I began to study biology at a higher level. The inner workings of various ecosystems and how each species fits into a particular niche have always fascinated me.

The climate crisis and increasing awareness of our atmosphere led me to aim for an environmental science degree early in my academic career and I aspire to become an environmental consultant later in my career.

This experience with the Pollinator Project has been excellent, and I am very much looking forward to working with the charity again in the future.

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