Conserving Scotland’s threatened invertebrrates

As part of the RSE investigates… conservation series, Dr Taylor will explain her passion for invertebrate conservation and give an insight into some of the exciting conservation breeding for release programmes happening in Scotland.

Invertebrates are crucial to healthy, functional ecosystems, but they are also under threat and are often ignored in conservation. In this talk, Dr Helen Taylor will explain why she has become so passionate about invertebrate conservation and give an insight into some of the exciting conservation breeding for release programmes she is responsible for at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. From releasing critically endangered pine hoverflies to new sites in the Cairngorms, to breeding a rare moth species most people have never heard of, to monitoring a solitary mining bee discovered on site at Highland Wildlife Park in 2018, the lives of these invertebrates and the huge efforts of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland to help save them in Scotland will surprise and delight anyone with even a passing interest in nature and conservation.

RSE… Investigates Conservation series

Efforts to protect and repair our planet’s natural resources span many areas of concern with experts across the globe dedicating themselves to conservation in their research and its application. The RSE investigates… conservation series will explore the vast and varied work being done in the area, including through several innovative and exciting conservation projects in Scotland: from the conservation of wildlife and environment to the conservation of heritage.

Throughout the series, we will be asking important, and at times tricky, questions about ethics and conservation, why conservation matters, how we engage the broader public in conservation efforts and the role of conservation in addressing the climate crisis and increasing biodiversity in Scotland and globally.

Learn more about the series


Dr Helen Taylor posing for the camera
Dr Helen Taylor


Dr Helen Taylor

Conservation programme manager, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Dr Helen Taylor is currently the Conservation Programme Manger at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. She took up this post in April 2019 on her return to the UK following eight years working as a conservation researcher in New Zealand. Dr Taylor specialises in translocation management and conservation genetics. For her PhD, she conducted research on inbreeding depression in little spotted kiwi, before moving on to examine the effect of inbreeding on male fertility in threatened birds for her post-doctoral research. In her current role, she has managed the beaver population in Knapdale, Argyll as part of the Scottish Beavers project, and is currently responsible for the society’s conservation breeding and reintroduction programmes for four native invertebrate species. Dr Taylor is a passionate and award-winning science communicator. In 2018 she was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Callaghan Medal for Science Communication and she is never happier than when talking about conservation research, conducting field work or, even better, doing both at the same time.

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Thursday June 1st, 2023 12:00-13:30