This introductory bryophytes course is a great place to start for those taking their first steps into the world of mosses, liverworts and hornworts.

Have you ever wondered what makes up the bright green carpets on rocks and trees? If you take a closer look, a diverse and prehistoric world is revealed. With over half of all European moss, liverwort and hornwort species present in the UK, there is so much to explore!

During this course, will gain a better understanding of this diverse group, all under the guidance of an engaging and knowledgeable expert in the field. You will learn about their biology and ecology and have ample time to explore your surrounding environment to find some specimens, learning valuable observational field identification tips. Mosses are a comparatively neglected group but they have much to offer, being at their best in winter and are sensitive to soil and habitat conditions.

Tutor: Petra Vergunst

Petra Vergunst is a field ecologist specialised in lichens and bryophytes based in NE Scotland. To engage people with lichens and bryophytes and help with identification, she runs the website Scottish Lichens and facilitates the similarly-named Facebook group. Petra is passionate about biological recording as a means to monitor the quality of the environment and has done extensive surveys of woodland and forest, the heritage landscape and coastline of NE Scotland. An ecologist by training, she is interested in how land management, nutrient-enrichment and other forms of disturbance influence the presence (and absence), lifecycle and ecology of lichens.