FSC BioLinks

BioLinks logo

FSC BioLinks is an exciting biodiversity project for the Field Studies Council running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. 

FSC BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification. Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data so conservationists are struggling to fully understand where, when, how or why they're declining.  We provide learning opportunities to help people develop their invertebrate identification (ID) and recording skills. 

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

FSC BioLinks is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Field Studies Council and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. More information regarding the learning opportunities, the project team and published plans and reports from the project can be found below. 

Young adults at carding Mill

Learning opportunities
This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.  Training opportunities will be given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to develop their identification skills.  The training and digital tools will increase the quality and quantity of invertebrate species data being submitted to our national biodiversity datasets and our understanding of those data, which will help conservationists prioritise their efforts. 

The project focuses on two regions – the West Midlands and the South East.  In the West Midlands the Bishops Wood and Preston Montford FSC field centres will be further developed as hubs for this sort of ID training and in the South East, centres in the London Region but especially FSC Bushy Park will be developed as training hubs.  Training will also be provided at other non-FSC locations within the two regions as opportunities arise, building new relationships between the FSC and various partners, as well as reaching new audiences.

Meet the BioLinks team

Keiron Derek Brown

FSC BioLinks Project Manager

Keiron manages the FSC BioLinks project with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten. He first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at Newcastle University and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates from the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo. 

In his spare time, Keiron is all about invertebrates and biological recording. He is Chair of the Ecology & Entomology section of the London Natural History Society and helped set up and run their virtual talks series. He also the national recorder for earthworms, running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain(of which he's also a trustee). Finally, Keiron likes to work on his Biological Recording website - a resource he's building for those new to biological recording and those teaching it to others. 

Dan Asaw

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (Virtual Training Programme)

Dan Asaw

Dan is a keen educator and Coleopterist. He has experience working within education as a teaching assistant and loves the opportunity to share his experiences and knowledge with a range of audiences. Dan's interest in invertebrates started at a young age and as a teenager he was already rearing praying mantids in his bedroom. From there, he began rearing exotic invertebrate disease vectors for scientific research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In his spare time, he has volunteered integrating UK beetles into the Natural History Museum Collection. He is often found digging through wood piles and utilising a variety of trapping methods to find and identify beetles. He is an active member of the Herts Invertebrate Project and Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and has helped generate some significant county records in this capacity. He is also one of the founders of the Moth Trap Intruders iRecord activity, looking at non-moth insects found in light traps.

Rachel Davies

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (West Midlands Training Programme)

Rachel first became interested in entomology whilst undertaking a Traineeship with Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Here she was introduced to the world of Odonata- dragonflies and damselflies.

These showy insects captured her interest and she’s spent all her time since pursuing a professional, and personal interest, in all things ento!

Rachel has a keen interest in biological recording and Citizen Science, and is keen to inspire more people to take part and enjoy the natural world.

Gino Brignoli

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (London Training Programme)

Gino is an active invertebrate recorder in London’s green spaces, with a particular interest in the ecologies of urban insects. 

He has worked as a freelance field surveyor on behalf of the Forestry Commission; researched ant ecology and evolution, and taught entomology field techniques whilst employed as a Research Assistant at Queen Mary University of London. With a keen interest in ecology and entomology, Gino studied an MSc in Ecology and Evolution from Queen Mary and a BSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from Birkbeck College, University of London. 

He has also previously volunteered with the Lepidoptera department and Soil Biodiversity Group at the Natural History Museum, and on the Thorn to Orchid and Water for Wildlife projects with the London Wildlife Trust. He now coordinates the BioLinks courses in London. In his spare time, Gino alsoposts about his experiences in his Ecology Field Notes blog.

Olivia Watts

Biodiversity Content Officer

Olivia is a wildlife enthusiast and a recent graduate of Animal Biology at Nottingham Trent University. She has been interested in invertebrates from a young age, and her fascination for them has only grown over the years. This fascination drives her to inspire others about the little creatures that help run the world and get more people involved with biological recording and conservation.   

She has previously worked with the Field Studies Council as a placement student at Rhyd-y-creuau, assisting with outdoor activities, wildlife courses and creating invertebrate related artwork. Additionally, she has volunteered with the Riverfly Partnership, surveying, and identifying aquatic invertebrates. She has also spent time with Liverpool World Museum in the entomology department and with Operation Wallacea as a research assistant. In her spare time, you can find her with a camera searching for wildlife or gardening to promote invertebrate biodiversity. 

FSC BioLinks Project PDF downloads

PDFFSC BioLinks Consultation Report. This document summarises the consultation carried out as part of the second phase application process of the FSC BioLinks project.

PDFFSC BioLinks Development Plan for Training Provision. This document formed part of the second phase application of the FSC BioLinks project. 


Eco-Skills Levels Framework. This document was created during the delivery phase of the FSC BioLinks project and will form part of the Invertebrate ID Training Plan currently in development).


FSC BioLinks Project Activity Report. This report details the progress of the fSC BioLinks project towards our project targets and objectives. Last updated March 2021.

Contact the team
Email: [email protected]