Thursday, 23 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 23 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2017
23 November 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum



Marine megafaunal extinction

Dr Catalina Pimiento


Museum für Naturkunde - Berlin, Germany

from: www.sharkopedia.discovery.com


Abstract
Millions of years ago, an 18 meters shark (Megalodon) used to live in all oceans of the world. How did this shark achieve such a large size? When, how and why did it become extinct? In this seminar, I will be talking about the answers to these questions, which not only provide insights into the role of apex predators in Deep Time, but which lead us to uncover a previously unrecognized extinction event that not only affected Megalodon, but also the global marine megafauna. In contrast with the effects of the extinction of small organisms like invertebrates, this extinction event resulted in an important erosion of functional diversity, leaving communities highly vulnerable to future extinctions, like the one we are facing today. Our next step is therefore to assess the extent of the loss of functional diversity as a consequence of the current extinction crisis, which is particularly affecting large marine vertebrates. 

My work, however, is not only about research questions. Science education and public outreach are an important component of my agenda and I will be sharing those with you as well.




Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Monday, 13 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 16 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2017
16 November 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum



Investigating the links between locomotor morphology, gait and metabolic cost

Dr Kayleigh Rose

from: Science Blogs

Our seminar series continues this week with our very own Dr Kayleigh Rose, Lecturer at our Biosciences Department at Swansea University (UK). Kayleigh's research focusses on biomechanics, with a particular interest in the kinematics and energetics of terrestrial locomotion, in relation to skeletal structure and gait mechanics. Kayleigh has joint out Department in 2017, after a postdoc and PhD at Manchester University.


Abstract
The cost of transport (the energy required to travel a unit distance) is an important measure in investigating the selection pressures that have shaped animal locomotor systems. Extracting generalizations from large-scale comparisons between species is invaluable towards understanding the links between morphology, gait and metabolic cost, but only to a certain extent due to confounding phylogenetic and geometric factors. Here, using measurements collected from domestic chickens, I will highlight how within species comparisons and selectively bred species can offer further insights into the factors influencing the metabolic cost of transport.




Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Monday, 6 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 09 November 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2017
09 November 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum



The evolutionary and mechanistic drivers of zebra stripes

Prof Tim Caro


We are excited to welcome this week Professor Tim Caro, Professor at the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis (USA), to our Biosciences Autumn Seminar Series. Tim is a behavioural ecologists and conservation biologist and has extensively published in both fields - not 'only' producing key journal papers but also writing and editing key books in these fields. Examples range from the fascinating Cheetahs of the Serengeti Plains and Antipredator Defenses in Birds and Mammals, to the classic textbooks on Behavioural Ecology and Conservation Biology and on Conservation by Proxy, to the recent one on Zebra Stripes. His current research continues to focus on both topics, Animal Coloration in mammals, such as zebra stripes (more on that in the seminar!), and coconut crabs, and Conservation Biology, especially in Tanzania - trying to find ways to halt lion killing in protected areas and the conservation of forest fragments. A key effort is also aimed at linking these two disciplines, by exploring the conceptual links between animal behaviour and conservation.


Abstract
In this talk I will discuss evidence and present new data for and against each of the hypotheses for zebra's extraordinary coat coloration. Homing in on the reason that zebras are striped, I will discuss unpublished information collected on Bristol zebras that is leading to an understanding of how stripes confer a fitness advantage to their bearers. 



Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

BioMaths Colloquium - 03/11/2017

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2017/18

03 November 2017 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)


Mean-Field Models in Biology and Engineering

Prof José Carrillo


(Department of Mathematics, Imperial College LondonUK) 

from: Albi et al. (2013) https://arxiv.org/abs/1304.5459

For our second BioMaths Colloquium Series for the 2017/18 academic year we are delighted to feature a seminar by Prof José Antonio Carrillo de la Plata, from the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London (UK). José's research uniquely combines the Mathematical and Biological Sciences, such as the use and development of Kinetic and Diffusive Models in Mathematical Biology, from chemotaxis, to swarming and flocking, to computational neuroscience. José holds a Chair in Applied and Numerical Analysis and is also the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the EMS-ESMTB Year of Mathematical Biology 2018


Abstract
I will review different aspects of applications of mean-field models arising in science, technology and life sciences. I will concentrate on 3 models in mathematical biology where these aspects are important in order to produce macroscopic models keeping the right qualitative behaviour. We will focus on swarming models, probabilistic models in computational neuroscience and pattern formation in zebra fish lateral lines. Finally, a model of consensus will be adapted as an algorithm for global optimisation.


The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Science Club Events - 02/11/2017

Biosciences Science Club Series - Autumn 2017
02 November 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum



Science communication - How to make it engaging & accurate

Caitlin Fikes


We are delighted to welcome Caitlin Fikes to our Science Club series. Caitlin is a writer and associate editor with the wildlife-science magazine Biosphere.


Abstract

Scientists are increasingly asked to increase outreach activities and engaging the public with stories about their research. However, with today’s instant-communication world oversaturated with snippets and soundbytes that are often not fact-checked or reviewed, it’s more important than ever that scientists know how to tell their own stories in a way that is both accurate and interesting and builds public trust in scientists and their work.

I aim to provide examples and tips how to do so – to empower researchers at any stage in their career to effectively engage an audience through passion, humour, and creativity. This presentation will give tips and pointers of how to turn a scientific article into an engaging story, how to avoid the pitfalls of press releases and would give examples of real-life #scicomm heroes and their keys to success. There will also be enough funny Tweets, comics, and sharks guaranteed to keep any student's attention. 



Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Monday, 30 October 2017

BioMaths Colloquium - 20/10/2017

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2017/18

20 October 2017 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)


Patterns, cellular movement and brain tumours

Dr Thomas Woolley


(Department of Mathematics, Cardiff UniversityUK) 


Our first BioMaths Colloquium Series for the 2017/18 academic year features a seminar by Dr Thomas Woolley from the School of Mathematics at University of Cardiff (UK).


Abstract
I present three pieces of work that illustrate the power of mathematics as a tool for understanding biology. Although the applications appear to be disparate the underlying mathematics is very similar. I begin by looking at theoretical and experimental pattern formation, with emphasis on whisker formation in mice. Here, reaction-diffusion equations are used to provide insights into how the wavelength of the whiskers are controlled. 
   Next, I consider the phenomena of blebbing cells. Initially, I use a diffusion equation to understand the motion of muscle stem cells and illustrate how young cells fundamentally move differently to old cells. This is then extended to include solid mechanics, which allows us to link the structural properties of the cell to their motion. 
   Finally, reaction-diffusion equations are used to understand the formation of brain tumours. Critically, the cells move at different speeds in white and grey matter, including this information can lead to very different migration patterns of the tumours. 




The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 12 October 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2017
12 October 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum



Potential Oscillators and Keystone Modules in Food Webs

Dr Taku Kadoya

Photo by David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes

We are delighted to be treated to a double seminar today, thanks to Dr Taku Kadoya, researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (Japan)Taku is a quantitative ecologist interested in how the interactions of life histories and behavioral responses of animals with landscape structure determine their abundances and population persistence. Particularly, Taku has a special fondness for dragonflies (Odonata).



Abstract
Food web module theory predicts weak interactions can govern stability by acting as “keystone interactions” that prevent collapse. However, this connection between weak interactions, derived from modular theory, and keystone species, derived from empirical result, is not yet well understood. In this talk, I will show that indeed these two research results are connected by a simple mathematical example and propose a simple framework to pull apart complex whole webs into smaller sub-webs, and to identify where weak interactions may be placed to mediate stability.



Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here