The Team

The Bloggers

Ben crop


Ben Roberts- PhD student

An Ecology graduate from Aberystwyth University, Ben first joined us as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate. By the time his 11-month project had finished he’d been well and truly bitten by the research bug, and successfully applied for a PhD scholarship studying spatial grazing patterns on heather moorland and blanket bog.


Dr Mariecia Fraser- Principal ResearcherMe and Maisie

Mariecia is a grazing ecologist, and Reader in Upland Agroecology. She has a degree in Agricultural Science with Honours in Animal Science (University of Edinburgh) and a PhD in Grazing Ecology (Macaulay Land Use Research Institute/University of Edinburgh). Her research interests include: species and breed differences in diet selection and ingestive behaviour, conservation grazing, nutrient supply from fresh and ensiled forages, greenhouse gas emissions from grazing animals, and the bio-energy potential of semi-natural grasslands.


Hannah Vallin – RA

Hannah joined the Pwllpeiran team as a Research Assistant, having swapped life in a DNA lab for the great outdoors.  She will be coordinating the field and lab work for the Yellow Gold daffodil project, and has lots of experience of working with livestock.


Schools 5


Caroline Freeman – PhD student

Caroline is studying the impact of management on soil water infiltration, with the aim of understanding links between land use, land management and flood risk



The rest of the Team

Daniel Forester- PhD studentDaniel

Having completed his undergraduate degree at Bangor University, Dan has jumped ship to Aberystwyth to take up a PhD studentship quantifying the long term impacts on ecosystem delivery service from upland permanent pasture under alternative management regimes.  His research is based on the Brignant long-term plots.

John Davies- Pwllpeiran Resource Manager

Pwllpeiran’s man in the know! John is well connected in the agricultural sector with previous roles at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) Trawscoed, then as a livestock procurement officer for a livestock co-operative, followed by a period as an agricultural estate agent and auctioneer. He worked for NFU Cymru as a Policy Adviser for nine years before becoming Director of the Food Centre Wales, providing state of the art technical support for the Welsh Agri-Food industry. John is a Former Wales YFC president, Chairman of the Wales Rural Network and the Mid Wales Agri-food group; and a member of the Welsh Rural Development Programme monitoring committee. He is also a Special Advisor to the Cambrian Mountain initiative.

Prof Mike Wilkinson – Chair of Upland Agro ecosystems.

Mike was Director of the Institute of Biological Sciences at Aberystwyth University before emigrating to Adelaide in 2011. He specializes in plant genetics, and was one of the scientists leading the Barcode Wales project.  He also knows an awful lot about wombats!

Gareth Rowlands- The Boss

Our longest serving member. Having spent 20+ years working for ADAS at Pwllpeiran, Gareth has continued to work as farm technician on the research platform. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the resource, and also assists on most research projects.