Peter Dennis joined the teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences in September 2006. From 2006-2008, Peter undertook regular training courses and prepared a portfolio on teaching theory and practice which was submitted in December 2008. He was awarded the Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education in January 2009 and this was followed by gaining a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Prior to joining IBERS on 25 September 2006, Peter had previously supervised Honours project students at The Agricultural University of Norway (1989-1990), dissertation and Masters students at the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh (1990-1993) and Zoology, Aberdeen University (1993-2006). Peter was awarded an Honorary Lecturership at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen (2000-2010), teaching “Animal-Plant Interactions” to Honours and Master of Science Ecology students.
Teaching modules at IBERS (Click on name for further information):
Module co-ordinator:
BRM3560 (MSc) Dissertation in Managing the Environment
RS30310 (Degree) Countryside Management in Practice (Study Week)
BR24120 (Degree)/ RD23120 (FDSc) Wildlife Management
Significant teaching input:
RS31620 (Degree) Landscape Ecology
RS36720 (Degree) The Agri-Environment

RS31330 (Degree) /RD25530 (FDSc) Honours Dissertation/ research project

BS32930 (Degree) Undergraduate research project

BR21120 (Degree) Climate Change: Plants, Animals and Ecosystems

BR23420 (Degree) Research Methods

BR24210 (Degree) Summer Vacation Industrial Work Experience

BR10810 (Degree)/ RD11610 (FDSc) Development and Management of British Habitats
BR12610 (Degree)/ RD10210 (FDSc) Studying the Dynamic Countryside (Field Course)
BR12410 (Degree) Study and communication skills module/ personal tutorial


Minor teaching contribution:

BRM2700 (MSc) Professional Skills in Managing the Environment

BRM0210 (MSc) Critical Evaluation in Environmental Management

RS36210 (Degree) Crop-environment interactions
BR11620 (Degree)/ RD12010 (FDSc) Introduction to Biology


International teaching

European Union funded International Master of Science in Animal Nutrition course

Unit 4 Repercussions of nutrition on the environment and on animal health and welfare

"Environmental effects of grazing livestock production systems"

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragosa (IAMZ) - International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Spain.


Dissertation project ideas for 2nd year students:
1. Ecology of grazed ecosystems, specifically interactions between domestic or wild herbivores and various wildlife.
a) Pony grazing interactions with coastal heathland and grasslands and associated wildlife populations.
b) Cattle and pony grazing interactions with wetland plant and insect populations.
c) Ecological consequences of abandonment and naturalistic grazing management

2. Effects of habitat fragmentation on wildlife populations
a) Habitat fragmentation and bird movement within agricultural landscapes
b) Association of flight pathways and feeding areas of bats with vegetation features in fragmented agricultural landscapes
c) Moth species affinity with size and isolation of remnant semi-natural habitats
d) Insect distributions in hedgerow networks
e) Facilitation of bird movement across farmland by hedgerows

3. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes
a) Localised patterns of peat wetness as it affects soil invertebrate abundance and distribution on blanket bogs.
b) Grip blocking effects on peatland moisture, carbon storage and invertebrates c) Beetle distribution and abundance related to altitude, aspect and slope of montane ecosystems

4. Monitoring and assessment of biodiversity in a changing environment:
a) Environmental and management drivers of soil chemistry and vegetation dynamics in the uplands
b) Biodiversity indicators for organic and low-input farming systems in the uplands
c) Biological monitoring within the UK Environmental Change Network terrestrial sites.

5. Desk based studies in ecology of grazed ecosystems and landscape ecology

a) Grasshopper distribution and abundance related to shrub encroachment of semi-arid grasslands
b) Grasshopper diversity in savanna grazed by domestic livestock compared with or wild game
c) Vegetation structure and botanical composition of woodlands related to management
d) Distribution of bumblebees within a river catchment under agricultural land use.