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Vicky Bowskill

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in October 2019 as a CENTA research student, working with the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. I'm looking at the sustainable management of floodplain meadows to balance agricultural produciton with biodiversity conservation, examining the effect of management strategies such as hay cutting date on both crop quality and yield, and the implications for various stakeholders.

Prior to this, I studied part time for my BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences with the Open University between 2012 and 2018, which culminated in a study into the impact of Azospirillium brasilense on drought tolerance in Vigna radiata through influences on root system architecture. In tandem with this, I worked full time in volunteer management with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, based at their offices in Winchester.

Research interests

As an interdisciplinary researcher employing mixed-methods, I'm interested in understanding the patterns in dynamic natural systems and how human interactions with them can have a positive influence on biodiversity - as is the case with traditionally managed floodplain meadows. I am motivated by applied research and creating real-world impact beyond academia. A neurodivergent researcher with a strong comittment to EDI, I aim for engaged research that reaches and empowers minoritised groups.

Impact and engagement

Alongside my part-time PhD research I'm a SciArt illustrator with passion for creative science communication. I specialise in helping researchers increase engagement with their work through impactful visuals. You can find out more about my work via my website and social media links.

A particularly impactful visual has been the Shoots to Roots poster created in collaboration with Irina Tatarenko in the Floodplain Meadows Partnership.

Bowskill V. and Tatarenko I. (2021). From Shoots to Roots: revealing the above and below ground structure of meadow plants. Floodplain Meadows Partnership, http://floodplainmeadows.org.uk/discover/learn/biodiversity/shoots-to-roots

Publications

Depleting soil nutrients through frequency and timing of hay cutting on floodplain meadows for habitat restoration and nutrient neutrality (2023-07)
Bowskill, Vicky; Bhagwat, Shonil and Gowing, David
Biological Conservation, 283, Article 110140


Hay Days: management of floodplain meadows for sustainable hay production (2021)
Bowskill, Vicky
Postgraduate Research Poster Competition, The Open University


Hay Days: Management of flood plain meadows for sustainable productivity (2020)
Bowskill, Vicky
Postgraduate Research Poster Competition, The Open University