“We can have it all”.
Technical consulting that is guided by confidence in three strands.
1) Ecosystem function = ecosystem services
2) Target species and bioregional identity
3) Multi-functional blue-green infrastructure
1) The ecosystem services that we rely upon – fresh air, clean water, healthy food – all depend on functioning ecosystems. The beauty of this is that functioning ecosystems can serve all organisms, including but not limited to humans.
2) Food webs and bioregional identity can be supported by specifying target species and ensuring that they can thrive. This task is not to be taken lightly, however! Integrating the needs of native species, like pollinators, into appropriate locations is a combination of science, art, and intuition.
3) Blue-green infrastructure that is multi-functional, ie, water-sensitive, cooling, pollinator-friendly, beautiful, educational and low maintenance.
In late 2008, the 6 acre VCC living roof was planted with over 400,000 plants and grasses, all native to coastal BC. In spring 2019, I conducted preliminary surveys that revealed this unique roof is at risk of transforming into an ‘old field’ with declining value to biodiversity. I’m pleased develop an ‘ecological retrofit’ that will propose interventions based upon empirical evidence and guided by ecological theory.
Specifying native plants and soils
As a collaborative plant ecologist, the members of the greater food web are my primary clients (e.g., pollinators, birds). While my expertise has been expressed particularly in the built environment (green roofs, living walls, habitat gardens), I am passionately practical about creating habitat anywhere. Ongoing collaborations with NATS Nursery help ensure the “right plant in the right place”, however novel or innovative the site. We developed and delivered a unique species list for this green roof complex in Ucluelet BC (on the WET, west coast of Vancouver Island).
Re-imagining 50 Stokes Croft: urban renewal in Bristol
I couldn’t resist the call to help develop a custom living wall and trellis system at Stokes Croft in Bristol. Eudaimon’s “defining urban ecology project” aimed to transform a tough, unloved urban site into a living, breathing place. Species selection was informed by a visit to the Avon Gorge, with focus on climbers and species of cliffs and walls. Specifications of soil, materials and methods followed. Although the design remained conceptual, it was a great exercise in developing a low-cost living wall system and applying ecological knowledge and intuition to a novel site.