ECOS 39 (4): Editorial: Free radicals

Editorial by

Geoffrey Wain

Many readers began their interest in ECOS as a student, this editor included. It is vital we keep engaging with students and those starting off in their conservation efforts. One way we do this is through our annual call for student articles, and we present the 2018 selection in this issue. A shot in the arm from student voices has got to be healthy for ECOS.  

Thanks in particular go to our sponsors Conservation Careers who provide the support to a small outfit like BANC and ECOS to help make this happen. Further appreciation goes to Matt Neale who steers the process while Martin Spray lends his experience in the selection and editing process. 

By pure chance, we’ve arrived at a specific theme across the articles, with the students all tackling aspects of the marine environment. The vexed matter of plastic pollution is highly topical, and we hear from Teresa Vale who has become actively involved in campaigning and awareness raising on the subject. As with so many stresses on nature, more sudden lifestyle change is required to reform our use of plastics, and we all have our part to play. 

Sounds from the deep are part of the mystery and wonder of the ocean world. Maya Lucas draws attention to human contributions to ocean soundscapes, which can confuse and disorientate marine life. Maya notes that even monitoring these factors would be a start, on the way to lessening our burden on sea life. Constance Eldon McCaig brings a further twist to marine acoustics, challenging us to think like a whale. 

Finally, beyond the student inputs, we welcome back long-term ECOS writer and stalwart Peter Taylor. He offers a view on the re-emerging wildlife and the low-impact settlements springing up in parts of the forgotten uplands of Europe, especially some remote parts of Spain. Here is a reminder that wild and unorthodox people, the new brave idealists replacing the hippies perhaps, often break the mold with their sustainable construction, local livelihoods and rejuvenated nature. Students are not the only radicals…


The ECOS Student Article Competition 2018 was kindly sponsored by Conservation Careers

For the most conservation jobs, see Conservation Careers

ECOS 39(4)


Free radicals

Geoffrey Wain

2018 Student article competition – published entries

Undergraduate winner

And I whale always love you
Acknowledging whales with musical intent

Constance Eldon McCaig

Undergraduate Highly Commended

Marine noise pollution – a (quiet) call to action

Maya Lucas

Postgraduate Winner

Ocean SOS
The challenge of plastic pollution in the marine world

Teresa Vale

Feature articles

End of the Rainbow?
Ecological restoration in the changing uplands of Spain

Peter Taylor

Book Reviews

Earth to Earth

The Long Spring


Wain, Geoffrey “ECOS 39 (4): Editorial: Free radicals” ECOS vol. 39(4), 2018, British Association of Nature Conservationists,

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