The Beastly Business team held their second advisory board meeting on 30th June. We focused on two areas: the research findings and plans for knowledge exchange and dissemination. We are very grateful to Dr Rebecca Drury (FFI) Dr Stefan Ferger (EuroNatur), Dr Hannah Dickinson (University of Durham) and Prof Tanya Wyatt (University of Northumbria) for their valuable feedback and support.
The project has just passed its one-year milestone, so the event gave us an excellent opportunity to discuss research progress and emerging themes across the different case studies. 12 months into the project we have almost completed our data collection phase and it has been a very busy time for us. Due to the pandemic our fieldwork was delayed by several months, and so we rapidly organised our data collection from February to June 2022. We also discussed the challenges we have faced, and gained valuable feedback from the board about the direction of the research in the next 12 months.
Research in Progress
Dr George Iordachescu has undertaken several months of fieldwork in Romania and Slovakia on European brown bears. Dr Teresa Lappe-Osthege has completed her field research in Cyprus and Italy. Both George and Teresa also attended a hunting expo to gain more insights. Dr Laura Gutierrez completed her research with key stakeholders in the eel industry and attended the Scottish eel conference in Edinburgh. The team attended several academic conferences including the Political Studies Association and the OC24 Global Conference. In early July the team will present research findings at the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Organised Crime conference in Pisa. These have all been very valuable opportunities to gain feedback on the work as it progresses. The team is planning some final follow up fieldwork in September and October.
Changes to the team
We also welcomed Dr Alison Hutchinson to the team. She joins us from the University of Northumbria and she brings essential green criminology expertise to the team. She will begin her research on IWT and the European eel in August for 12 months. Alison joins us following the departure of Dr Laura Gutierrez for parental leave, followed by a permanent lectureship at Liverpool University, starting in August. Congratulations to Laura – the team will miss her!
Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination
In the second half of the Advisory Board meeting we discussed how to communicate our findings, how to engage with relevant stakeholders and how to achieve research impact. We are planning a series of knowledge exchange workshops, a digital art exhibition on eels, plus several other outputs. Keep an eye on our twitter and website for more information in the coming months.
We are already planning a team away day to work through common themes and decide on final outputs from the project. Our final Advisory Board meeting will be in February 2023.