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Maria will talk about how to recognise valuable semi-natural grasslands, where they are found, and why they are so important. She’ll ask the question – are they under threat, and if so, what can be done? If time allows, she will focus on the internationally important Shannon callows, and other floodplain grasslands in Ireland.
Dr. Maria Long is the Grassland Ecologist at the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Her remit includes providing scientific advice on the conservation of grasslands, as well as oversight of survey, monitoring, management and designations for these habitats. She also aims to raise public awareness of the value of semi-natural grasslands. Her PhD involved the study of the grassland-scrub-woodland continuum, and the effects of abandonment on plant and mollusc communities. She worked for seven years as the BSBI’s Irish Officer, based here at the National Botanic Gardens, and worked independently as an ecological consultant between 2001 and 2019.