Training in tropical canopies
Plant biologist Dr James Morison has been scaling the
heights of the Borneo rainforest training local experts in the science of
Dr Morison, from the Department of Biological Sciences, worked with
participants from nine different South East Asian countries at the
training workshop in Forest Canopy Science at Danum Valley Field Centre,
The workshop, organised by the Global Canopy Programme, examined
ecological patterns and processes in forest canopies and their
interactions with the atmosphere. A series of lectures covered a wide
range of scientific research topics and techniques for understanding
forest canopies and participants learned practical canopy access
techniques using rope climbing.
Papua New Guinea Ministers of Environment, Planning and Forests also
visited the workshop to see how participants from the country were getting
on. Dr Morison said: ‘The interest from Papua New Guinea is particularly
significant, given that its delegation at the recent Montreal conference
on climate change had been promoting the idea of payments to tropical
forested countries for 'deferred logging', because of the biodiversity of
tropical forests, and their importance to global climate.
A BBC film crew was also present, filming from a specially adapted hot
air balloon that allows unique views of the canopy, for the forthcoming
series of Planet Earth.
Masterplan submitted for Research Park
The masterplan for a 43-acre Research Park adjoining the
University’s Colchester campus has been submitted to the borough council.
It is hoped the Park will create an influx of highly-skilled jobs into
the town by attracting high-tech companies and providing opportunities for
new businesses to flourish.
The plans allocate about 400,000 square feet of office space, about 200
private houses and flats, and space for more than 1,000 student study
bedrooms to meet the future accommodation needs of the University.
The six acres of private housing land will be sold at the start of the
project to fund the substantial investment in infrastructure required to
open up the site.
It is hoped that building work on the Park can get underway in 2006,
with the business innovation centre for young start-up businesses being
completed in 2007. The first phase will also contain an office village to
accommodate larger companies.
The application has been submitted by the Carisbrooke - Essex
Partnership, a development partnership between London-based property
developer Carisbrooke Alliance Limited and the University.
The Research Park is identified in the Colchester 2020 Community
Strategy as a vital component of the regeneration strategy for East
Colchester, and for the economic development of the town.
It will accommodate new high-tech businesses wanting to work closely
with the intellectual capital of the University, as well as a range of
other commercial companies. It is hoped more than 2,000 jobs will be
Dr Tony Rich, Registrar of the University, said: ‘The University is
delighted that after many years work we are now able to submit the master
plan for the Research Park.
‘This exciting new addition to the campus will enable the University to
place spin-out companies alongside academic departments and to develop
collaboration with industry to bring more highly skilled jobs to
Essex links with Nanjing
The University has signed an agreement with Nanjing
University in China to recruit 100 students per year to science courses at
The undergraduates will join the second year of courses in Biological
Sciences, Computer Science and Electronic Systems Engineering, starting in
They will come to Essex after studying for two years at Nanjing’s Jin
Ling College, combining their subject teaching with English tuition.
Bursaries will be available to the most able students to offset their
Professor Andy Downton signs the
Memorandum of Cooperation with Nanjing University
The Memorandum of Cooperation with Jin Ling College was signed by
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Standards) Professor Andy Downton during a
two-day visit to Nanjing University’s two campuses, which cater for a
total of around 37,000 students.
Professor Downton toured the electronics laboratories and was impressed
by the teaching resources and equipment available.
The agreement will see Essex academics visiting Nanjing several times a
year to help to ensure the teaching is aligned to undergraduate programmes
at Essex, and to seek to establish research links between the
The University will also be establishing an office in Nanjing, which it
will share with its Chinese agents Anglo-Chinese Enterprise Holdings (ACEH),
who played a vital role in setting up the admissions arrangement.
Professor Downton said: ‘Our intention is to develop and more actively
pursue cooperative activities with Chinese universities. China is our
biggest overseas market, and the country where recruitment methods are
Alumni Christmas Reunion
More than 120 Essex graduates kicked off their seasonal
celebrations at the first Alumni Christmas Reunion, held last month in
Graduates from many departments and graduation years spanning 1978 to
2005 spent the evening partying and re-living their time at Essex.
For some it was a chance to see Mondo for the first time, as it only
opened in late 2001.
2004 graduates Philippa Richardson and
Ross Smith enjoy the first Alumni Christmas Reunion
The evening of music, mulled wine and mince pies was organised by the
Development and Alumni Relations Office, which hopes to add this reunion
to its annual programme of events.
Partygoer Philippa Richardson, who graduated in 2004, said: ‘It was
fabulous catching up with my mates, and lovely to see old faces after such
a long time. I’ll definitely be back next year!’
Also in the printed January edition of Wyvern:
- Student development research
- Everyone has the right to health
- Award for Darfur coverage