Research and education
The Upper Mersey Estuary is a living laboratory which gives us ample opportunity to study our local environment. We are proud that we have plenty of research projects on a variety of topics active in the estuary. Some of our active projects are listed on this page, and a number of completed ones can be found here. The research is guided and endorsed by our Biodiversity and Research Board, a panel of experts who are keen to promote innovative thinking and best practice.
A number of separate yet connected shrimp projects are being carried out by the University of Salford. Undergraduates, masters and PhD students have carried out research projects on the various aspects of the life history of the shrimp and its adaptation to the environment.
Rewilding in the estuary
The term Rewilding was first used as a scientific reference to the Wildlands Project in North America, aiming to created wilderness areas connected by corridors with the absent of human activity. A one year Masters project will look into the possibilities of rewilding small pockets of urbanised land within the Upper Mersey Estuary, illuminating the drivers and barriers of the natural and social processes pertaining to the rewilding of the Upper Mersey Estuary shaped by direct and indirect human activities.
Salmon in the Mersey
A M.Sc. student from Salford University is looking for the presence of salmon in the Mersey and the success of monitoring without manual handling of the fish. This includes the analysis of data from a fish pass camera, as well as eDNA – tiny fragments of mitochondrial DNA – that can detect where a species might have been present from a few days up to a few months.
Carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation are closely linked. The aim of this PhD project is to assess the distribution of soil organic carbon found in the Upper Mersey Estuary, considering the various contamination levels and current habitat types.
By understanding the dynamics of carbon sequestration in the estuary, we can adapt our management according to the newest science and local circumstances to support carbon sequestration in the estuary.
Trematode parasites have complex life cycles often involving several host species and are of significant medical and veterinary importance. However, many wild animal species can also be infected and parasite diversity within individuals and populations can be used in ecosystem monitoring.