Scottish Oceans Institute: Past seminars

24 May 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
LTD

SOI seminar: The genomic history of killer whale ecotypes
Andy Foote
Bangor University

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Killer whales rival humans as one of the most widely distributed mammals, being found in all the major oceans, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and at all latitudes in between. This global radiation from an ancestral population appears to have occurred rapidly, in less than 250 KYA. Yet, despite their high dispersal potential, killer whales frequently exhibit fine-scale geographic variation in ecology and morphology, often coupled with social and reproductive isolation, and are thus an emerging model for the study of incipient speciation. The role of geographic context and the processes underlying correlated ecological and genetic divergence are still poorly understood and remain hotly debated. Here, we present a global dataset of whole genome sequences to reconstruct the history of the colonisation of the species’ known range, focusing on the establishment of known ecotypes to better understand this potential early stage of speciation.

host: Dr Luke Rendell

refID: 1907

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18 May 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
LTD

SOI seminar: Biology Student Antarctic Expedition – Tales of whales, penguins and ice
Marine Mammal Science (MSc) students
University of St Andrews - School of Biology

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We recently completed the 5th St Andrews Students in the Antarctic expedition, and would like to share some of the highlights and findings from our trip of a life time. In March 2017 seven Senior Honours and eight Masters students from Biology embarked on a hands-on educational expedition to the southern tip of Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula (as part of modules BL4301 & BL5124). We visited some incredible places and collected lots of exciting observational data on the distribution and relative abundance of sea birds, whales and seals, as well as oceanographic measurements at selected locations. The expedition team would like to invite all students and staffto join us for some first-hand tales of this incredible Southern Ocean adventure. Spoiler alert: the student presentations might feature a penguin or two as well as tails of whales, seals, icebergs and fearless polar plungers……For further information and advanced visual impressions see the student expedition blog: https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/antarctic/category/antarctic-expedition-2017/.

host: Dr Sonja Heinrich

refID: 1909

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11 May 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
LTD

SOI seminar: Tread-water feeding of Bryde's whales
Takashi Iwata
University of St Andrews, School of Biology

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Rorqual whale species generally use a form of lunge-feeding in which they swim into a shoal of the prey species, open their mouths, and engulf the prey along with surrounding water. The prey are trapped by baleen plates in the mouth when the excess water is expelled. Here, we show that Bryde’s whales in the upper Gulf of Thailand employ a novel strategy in which the whales adopt an upright posture at the water surface (“treading water” posture), lift their heads out of the water, open their mouths and lower their jaw onto the water surface. They hold this position for an average of about 14 seconds and passively allow their prey to enter the mouth. The whales then close their mouths, submerge, and process the catch. We suggest that this novel feeding strategy is associated with the fact that the sea in this area is very hypoxic due to a large inflow of polluted fresh water. As a consequence, the whale’s prey species tend to live in the surface waters. We observed adult-calf pairs performing this behaviour and speculate that the feeding strategy may be passed on from one generation to the next, possibly as a social learning.

http://researchmap.jp/iwatatakashi/?lang=english

host: Mr Guilherme A. Bortolotto

refID: 1908

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27 Apr 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
LTD

Sea ice and zooplankton variability in the Arctic
Martin Doble
SAMS

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19 Apr 2017
1:00 PM
BMS
BMS Seminar Room

BSRC Seminar Series: Electroreceptor development, physiology and evolution: insights from paddlefish
Dr Clare Baker
Dept. of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

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Director of Studies for Natural Sciences at Peterhouse College and researcher in the development and evolution of the vertebrate sensory nervous system.

http://www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/directory/clare-baker

host: Dr Ildiko Somorjai

refID: 1902

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13 Apr 2017
1:00 PM
Bute

SOI seminar: Project Introduction: Conservation genetics of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) in South Africa
Petra Neveceralova
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic and Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Western Cape, South Africa

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The PhD project is focused on conservation genetics of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) by the South African coast. It uses mainly non-invasive samples like sloughed skin or whale scat and it is based on citizen science approach. Using neutral genetic markers and modern approaches of population and landscape genetics, we aim to get information about details of population structure, the role of migration and gene flow, drift and other factors of population biology of the species. Part of the project is focused on fitness prediction among the populations not only with the help of neutral genetic markers, but also adaptive variation using markers like MHC genes. By metabarcoding approach, we aim to analyse the whale diet in South African nursery grounds. The results will be interpreted using framework of conservation biology, and the conservation effort of Dyer Island Conservation Trust, local NGO which works in Gansbaai – Western Cape, one of the world marine biodiversity hot spots, will be introduced.

host: elc6@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1863

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07 Apr 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
Lecture Theatre D

CBD Seminar: The origins of biodiversity: evolution and development
Linda Holland
University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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Emeritus Professor and recipient of the prestigious Kowalevsky Medal for joint work with her husband for distinguished achievements in evolutionary developmental biology and comparative zoology.

http://scrippsscholars.ucsd.edu/lzholland/biocv

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1891

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06 Apr 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
Lecture theatre D

SOI seminar: Skilful predictions of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)
Dr Nick Dunstone
Met Office

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The winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the primary mode of atmospheric variability in the North Atlantic sector. It has a profound impact on surface conditions over the North Atlantic ocean and temperature & precipitation over Europe and North America. The NAO exhibits pronounced interannual variability, particularly in the last decade, with strong positive NAO leading to mild & stormy European winters (e.g. 2011/12, 2013/14) and strong negative NAO winters giving cold & dry winters (e.g. 2009/10, 2010/11). Until recently seasonal forecasting systems have had no significant skill in predicting the winter NAO, leading many to assume that the NAO was largely a chaotic mode of atmospheric variability and inherently unpredictable. Here I will outline our recent work using the Met Office high-resolution climate models to show that the NAO is indeed predictable both one month ahead of winter and that significant skill still remains one year ahead. I will  examine the drivers of predictability on these two timescales and show that the discovery of NAO predictability is at odds with the skill of the model predicting itself. This surprising result indicates that the real-world is in fact far more predictable than we previously thought and it is likely that even the latest high-resolution climate models are unable to realistically represent the physical processes and feedbacks operating in the real world, resulting in too little signal and/or too much noise. Finally, I show how these new skilful NAO predictions are beginning to be used to aid decision making in government and industry.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/nick-dunstone

host: Prof Chris Todd

refID: 1862

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30 Mar 2017
7:00 PM
Other
School 2, St Salvator's Quad

Wildlife Society Global Conservation Seminar: Where Will Global Conservation be in 50 Years?

St Andrews Wildlife Conservation Society

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30 Mar 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
Lecture Theatre D

SOI Seminar: Managing the use of unmanned aircraft systems for the benefit of marine mammals
Courtney Smith
NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Permits and Conservation Division

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Abstract:  The development of advanced technologies to enhance conservation science often outpaces the abilities of wildlife managers to assess and ensure such new tools are safely used in proximity to wild animals. Recently, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have become more accessible to civilian operators and are quickly being integrated into existing research paradigms to replace manned aircraft. Several federal statutes require scientists to obtain research permits to closely approach protected species of wildlife, such as marine mammals, but the lack of available information on the effects of UAS operations on these species has made it difficult to evaluate and mitigate potential impacts. Here, I present an updated synthesis of the current state of scientific understanding of the impacts of UAS usage near marine mammals and identify key data gaps and challenges that are limiting the ability of marine resource managers within the U.S. to develop appropriate guidelines, policies, or regulations for safe and responsible operation of UAS near marine mammals.

host:

refID: 1904

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28 Mar 2017
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: No fly is an island: How Drosophila respond to socio-sexual environments
Amanda Bretman
University of Leeds

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We all modify our behaviour in different social situations to adapt, fit in or to become more competitive. Fruit flies also have complex social lives, aggregating independently of any resources, engaging in social learning, forming social networks and having a genetic propensity for different types of social environments. Using Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies as a model, we can investigate both the fitness consequences of changes of social environment and the mechanisms by which individuals can respond to such changes.


One aspect of the social environment that has a particular impact on males is how much mating competition (both before and after mating) they encounter. Theory predicts that if males can mate more than once they need to trade-off current and future mating opportunities, hence they should modify their mating effort at a particular mating depending on the amount of competition they face. Males of many species use plastic strategies to cope with this uncertainty, taking cues from the presence of other males or the mating status of females, and making adjustments to behaviour and ejaculate content accordingly. In D. melanogaster, after being exposed to a potential competitor, males mate for longer and transfer a higher quality ejaculate. This has fitness benefits, at least in the short term, but is costly. By combining behavioural and life history data with transgenics and transcriptomics, we can investigate how such responses are coordinated and regulated, an important step in understanding how sophisticated, flexible social behaviours evolve. We are also starting to use this paradigm to investigate other consequences of social contact on traits such as ageing, immunity and cognition.

http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/profile.php?tag=Bretman_A

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1850

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21 Mar 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
Lecture Theatre D

Naked DNA in Seawater
Jesse Ausubel, Program for the Human Environment
The Rockefeller University

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Loose or extracellular DNA abounds in natural water, salt and fresh.  It may be shed like dandruff and result from the break-up of cells.  The presence of many aquatic animals can be reliably detected by analyzing water samples for the presence of species-specific DNA fragments.   Emerging eDNA  technology  could  add  to  or  supplant traditional monitoring  methods, which  can  be time-consuming,  expensive,  and destructive.   As reference libraries of DNA grow, eDNA could become a top way to understand the status of marine life.  Mr. Ausubel will present work-in-progress, including tentative results about eDNA as an index of abundance. 

host:

refID: 1899

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16 Mar 2017
1:00 PM
The Observatory
CREEM seminar room

SOI+CREEM seminar: Documenting the imminent extinction of the vaquita
Cornelia Oedekoven & Len Thomas
CREEM

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***Please come 12:30 for lunch/coffee and chat***

Abstract: The vaquita is a small porpoise endemic to the Gulf of California, Mexico. It is subject to bycatch in gillnets set by local artisanal fishermen – most recently an illegal fishery for an endangered fish, the totoaba. Despite many attempts to reduce bycatch and protect vaquita, there has been a long-term decline in population size. Here, we report on two recent surveys of population size and trend, both led by Mexican and American scientists: (1) a combined visual line transect and passive acoustic survey that took place throughout known vaquita range in 2015 and (2) an acoustic monitoring programme that has been running in the core vaquita habitat since 2011. These are both complicated by the low population size; also, in the former case by the vaquita’s elusive nature and in the latter by loss of recorders. Our talk will focus on implementation of the line transect survey, and on analysis and results from both surveys. Results are shocking: we estimate an ongoing decline of around 40% per year (posterior mean 39%; CRI 26%-52%), with only around 30 vaquita (posterior mean 33, 95%CRI 8-96) remaining as of autumn 2016. As a result, planning is now underway to try to catch the last remaining vaquita and preserve the species in captivity.

https://creem2.st-andrews.ac.uk/staff/

host: Mr Guilherme A. Bortolotto

refID: 1895

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14 Mar 2017
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Experimental evolution of sex roles: sexy females and generous males
Karoline Fritzsche
Uppsala University

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Sexual selection is the prime evolutionary force that makes males and females different. Sexual selection theory has recently expanded to include mate competition between females and mate choice by males, but empirical studies addressing these themes are still scarce. My research explores the evolution of sex role reversed mating systems using honey locust beetles (Megabruchidius sp.). I will present experimental evidence showing that (i) multiple mating can be costly for males and beneficial for females, (ii) males are choosy and (iii) female-biased sex ratios accelerated the evolution of female courtship, which even led to stronger sex role reversal (experimental evolution over 20 generations). I highlight the essential role that females play in mating system evolution and that their contribution cannot simply be reduced to mate choice.

http://www.uu.se/en/search-result/?q=Karoline+Fritzsche

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1888

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12 Mar 2017
12:00 AM
Bute

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refID: 1905

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28 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
MBS
Seminar room 2

The stomach of the cell is an emerging signalling organelle with a central role in neurodegenerative disease
Dr. Emyr Lloyd-Evans
School of Biosciences, University of Cardiff

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Lysosomes (aka the stomach of the cell) are a crucial intracellular organelle involved in degradation and recycling of macromolecules, plasma membrane repair, clearance of pathogens, immune recognition, and an emerging role in ion signalling. More than 60 diseases are associated with lysosomal dysfunction, almost all are neurodegenerative childhood diseases. My group is interested in the mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of these diseases, new ways to treat them and what we can learn from them about normal lysosomal function. We are particularly interested in lysosomal ion regulation and how this is altered in different diseases. Our recent work has focused on the ability of the lysosome to regulate and contribute to intracellular pH, Ca2+ and Zn2+ homeostasis. Through working on lysosomal diseases, we have identified novel lysosomal ion channels and have uncovered cellular processes that require normal lysosomal ion homeostasis for their function. Our current work is focused on characterising two novel lysosomal ion channels; one the cause of a childhood neurodegenerative epilepsy syndrome and the other recently identified as an Alzheimer disease risk gene.

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/81221-lloyd-evans-emyr

host: Dr Samantha Pitt

refID: 1878

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23 Feb 2017
12:00 PM
Bute
Bute Building, Theatre D (C42)

SOI seminar: From physical seascape to top predators: an integrative approach to understand and manage dynamic ecoystems in the Southern Ocean
Dr Cedric Cotte
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

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Note: SOI seminar earlier than usual time. **12-13h** 

host: Prof Patrick Miller

refID: 1874

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21 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Conflicts between biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods: an interdisciplinary approach
Nils Bunnfield
Stirling University

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Conflicts between human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation are increasing in scale and intensity and have been shown to be damaging for both biodiversity and humans. Managing a specific natural resource often results in conflict between those stakeholders focussing on improving livelihoods and food security and those focussed on biodiversity conversation. Uncertainty, for example from climate change, decreases food security, puts further pressure on biodiversity and exacerbates conflicts. I will present first results towards developing a novel model that integrates game theory and social-ecological modelling to develop new approaches to manage conservation conflicts. The project has importance for society at large because ecosystems and their services are central to human wellbeing and unlocking these conflicts will provide great potential for a more sustainable future.

https://sti-cs.org/nils-bunnefeld/

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1841

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16 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
Bute
Theater D

Southern elephant seal diving behaviour in geographic and oceanographic space
Samantha Gordine
SMRU

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Southern elephant seals (SES) are far-ranging top predators and sentinels of the Southern Ocean ecosystem status. The resource availability found within different oceanographic habitats determines their well-being, reflected by their body condition (i.e. resource gain or loss) and measurable as changes in buoyancy. Detected buoyancy changes can be related to where, geographically, they occur. However, describing SES well-being solely in geographic space provides an incomplete assessment of their reliance on specific oceanographic features. SES frequently associate with macroscale latitudinal fronts, which likely provide favourable foraging conditions through aggregating prey and enhancing productivity. Which frontal systems are overall favourable varies strongly according to year, season and month. The variability in body condition improvements is higher in some frontal systems than others, likely due to varying frontal positions. Large inter-individual variability exists in how fast, when and where successful resource acquisition occurs. There is also prominent sexual segregation in which water masses body condition improves. Further, currents influence the horizontal movements and SES likely compensate for such deflections. Not accounting for currents can bias conclusions drawn from track-based behavioural metrics. These metrics also fail to reflect body condition improvements, but rather display different foraging strategies. Individuals are flexible in using different foraging and movement strategies depending on which oceanographic habitat they are exploiting, and exhibit large plasticity towards spatio-temporal variability. This could indicate resilience against environmental changes. However, long-term monitoring is necessary to fully capture the vulnerability of SES towards climate change.

host: Miss Samantha Gordine

refID: 1877

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15 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture theatre C

Joint BSRC/EaStCHEM Colloquium : "EuroTracker Dyes and Probes"
Prof. David Parker
Department of Chemistry, Durham University

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host: hcf2@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1868

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08 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

BSRC Seminar Series "New Tools for Developing Potato Varieties with Improved Traits"
Dr Mark Taylor
James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie

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host: lt27@sst-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1864

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07 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Sex differences in the effect of diet on survival in stickleback fish
Craig Walling
The University of Edinburgh

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Dietary restriction is renowned as the most consistent environmental intervention to extend lifespan and delay ageing. Typically this effect is thought to result from a reduction in the availability of calories and a subsequent switch from investment in reproduction to investment in survival under conditions of poor resource availability. However, recent work has questioned the generality of the effect of DR, demonstrating a stronger effect in laboratory adapted than non-adapted populations and a stronger effect in females than males. In addition the role of calories has been questioned, with experiments using a broader range of diets suggesting variation in the ratio of macronutrients is more important in determining lifespan, with high protein diets resulting in lower lifespan. I will present early results from an investigation of the role of calories and macronutrient ratio in determining survival and reproduction in a wild derived population of freshwater fish, the stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. In this study, we reared fish on one of 15 diet treatments varying in both protein to lipid ratio (P:L) and availability to allow separation of the effects of macronutrients and calories. Results suggest that P:L is more important in determining survival and reproduction than calories. In general males and females invested more in reproduction with increasing protein ingestion, but there was variation between traits and the amount of lipid ingested was also important for female reproduction.  In addition, there appears to be a sex difference in the effect of diet on lifespan. Males reared on high P:L diets suffered higher mortality than those reared on lower P:L, but this does not appear to be true for females. I will discuss these results in the light of recent work assessing the importance of calories and macronutrients in determining survival and reproduction and the evolutionary explanation for the existence of sex differences in the effect of DR.

http://walling.bio.ed.ac.uk/

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1848

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01 Feb 2017
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

BSRC Seminar : "Evolution through cooperativity in the alkaline phosphatase superfamily"
Prof. Lynn Kamerlin
Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University

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host: rgds@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1865

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31 Jan 2017
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Understanding speech and language: from genes to bats and beyond
Sonja Vernes
Max Planck Institute for Psychlinguistics

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The capacity for speech and language is a fundamental trait of humankind, and is of intense interest across diverse fields including linguistics, anthropology, neuroscience and molecular and evolutionary biology. I will present recent work from my research program using diverse, complementary approaches to study the genetic underpinnings of speech and language including; clinical studies that investigate the genetic causes of speech and language disorders; molecular studies that demonstrate how genes influence neuronal development and function; and work in animal models linking gene function to behaviours relevant for spoken language.

http://www.mpi.nl/people/vernes-sonja

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1851

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26 Jan 2017
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Marine microplastics
Dr Erik van Sebille
Imperial

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14 Dec 2016
1:00 PM
MBS
Booth Lecture Theatre, School of Medicine

Biomedical Sciences Research Complex & Biochemical Society Seminar Series - "EMBL, Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences"
Prof. Iain Mattaj
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

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 Director General of EMBL

host: jhn@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1858

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08 Dec 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Pup to predator: sex and region differences in grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pup movement and diving ontogeny during their first months at sea
Matt Carter
University of Plymouth

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host: dr60@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1853

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07 Dec 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

BSRC Seminar : Predictive Science and Mass Spectrometry
Prof John Langley
University of Southampton

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Professor John Langley is Head of Characterisation and Analytics in Chemistry in the Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton.  He has been leader of the MS Facility in Chemistry since 1988 and has over 30 years’ experience of MS and chromatography. His interests are the application of separation science and mass spectrometry as a routine tool for chemistry/chemical biology/oilfield chemistry as well as probing new areas for research using these tools. Specific interests include the application of  hyphenated approaches (GC-MS, HPLC-MS & SFC-MS) to analysis of petrochemicals, oilfield, fuels and biofuels, research into analysis and detection of oligonucleotides and understanding fundamental MS/MS fragmentation processes and mechanisms, the latter including the use of computational methods.  

John was awarded the British Mass Spectrometry Lectureship for 2016 and will be delivering ~18 research seminars across the UK in 2016-17. He is a Chartered Chemist, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and a IUPAC Fellow; Vice President of the International MS Foundation (formerly Secretary), Chair of the RSC Separation Science Group, a member of the RSC Analytical Division Council 2014-2019; a member of the Editorial Board of Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry; formerly Chair of the British MS Society (2008-2010), Vice-Chair (2006-08) and a member of the BMSS advisory Board (2012-2017). He was the European representative of the IUPAC working group for Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to MS.

host: tks1@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1860

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06 Dec 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Getting the most impact out of your research
Peter Tyack
St Andrews University

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What academic would be happy to think of their research as having little impact?

The scoring of impact outside of academia in the REF adds even more impetus to this topic. Impact has such a broad definition in the REF - ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’ – that nearly everyone’s research should have a pathway to impact. But we are not always trained how to find and develop this path.

I will start the seminar by describing how my curiosity-driven research on acoustic communication in marine mammals led to impact for understanding the effects of anthropogenic noise. The critical pathway to impact was a willingness (I felt it an obligation) to get involved where one’s science is relevant for political issues, legal disputes, or conflicts between regulators and stakeholder, even if these are controversial.

Interacting with the critical players in the decision-making process was essential for obtaining convincing evidence of impact from convincing sources. Committing to this process can take a lot of time, but is necessary for creating the link between our research and decision-making outside of academia.

I would like for most of the seminar to involve a brainstorming discussion about pathways to impact for some of the varied CBD research areas

http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/contact/staffprofile.aspx?sunID=plt

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1855

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01 Dec 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Fine-scale kinematics and energetics: a detailed insight into the biomechanical strategies of cetacean locomotion
Lucia Martin
SMRU

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host: luciamartinaml@gmail.com

refID: 1845

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29 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: A Model for Brain Life History Evolution
Mauricio González Forero
St Andrews University

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Elaborate cognitive abilities and relatively large brains are distributed across a variety of taxa, and there is a large number of primarily verbal hypotheses to explain such diversity. Yet, mathematical models formalizing verbal arguments and helping deepen our understanding of brain and cognition evolution remain scarce.

To address this issue, I will present a mathematical model that combines life history and metabolic theories to yield quantitative predictions for brain life history evolution given a chosen set of hypotheses. The model assumes that some of the brain’s energetic expense is due to learning and memory of skills. I will show predictions arising from the model applied to humans under a baseline setting (“me-vs-nature”), namely when the individual uses her skills to extract energy from the environment without social interactions except with her mother.

The model shows that this baseline setting is enough to generate major human life stages (childhood, adolescence, and adulthood) with proper timing while producing adult body and brain mass of ancient human scale.The model also finds that adult skill number is proportional to adult brain mass if memory is sufficiently costly, essentially regardless of learning costs. Finally, the model shows that large brains are favored by intermediately challenging environments, moderately effective skills, and metabolically expensive memory. To close, I will talk about the applications of the model that I plan to do here to address sociality.

http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/contact/staffProfile.aspx?sunid=mgf3

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1854

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24 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture theatre

Decommissioning North Sea oil and gas structures
Dr Liz Galley
Mara Environmental

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host:

refID: 1814

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23 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

BSRC Seminar : What Science Communication can do for me
Dr Sam Illingworth
Manchester Metropolitan University

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Abstract: Science Communication, Public Engagement, Pathways to Impact. These are all phrases that are gradually becoming part of the academic vernacular. But to what extent are we actually communicating rather than box ticking? Who is actually benefiting from this engagement, and the researchers even benefiting? In this seminar, Dr Illingworth discusses how science communication can be beneficial to both scientist and society, and speaks about his recent research in trying to establish genuine two-way dialogue between experts and non-experts.
Biography: Dr Sam Illingworth is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sam trained as an atmospheric physicist, and then spent time lecturing in Japan and China, where he also investigated the relationship between science and theatre. His current research is concerned with empowering members of society with science using a variety of different media, including poetry and theatre. You can find out more about Sam on his website: www.samillingworth.com
 

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refID: 1856

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17 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Foraging behavior and migration of marine predators revealed by modern electronic tags
Yuuki Watanabe
National Institute of Polar Reserach

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The behavioral ecology of marine animals (fishes, seabirds, and marine
mammals) are now increasingly understood, primarily due to the
continuous improvement and miniaturization of electronic tags.  In this
seminar, I would like to talk about my recent studies on 1) foraging
behavior of Adelie penguins and white sharks recorded by animal-borne
video cameras, and 2) the underlying mechanism of migration patterns in
marine animals, revealed by comparative analysis of animal-tracking data.

host:

refID: 1819

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10 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Should the Ecosystem Services and Restoration of Shellfish Habitats be part of Ecosystem-Based Management Thinking?
Dr Bill Sanderson
Heriot Watt

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03 Nov 2016
12:00 AM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

25 years of marine conservation in Scotland
Dr John Baxter
Scottish Natural Heritage

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host: asb4@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1810

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02 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

Understanding the translation landscape at the host pathogen interface
Dr Trevor Sweeney
University of Cambridge

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host:

refID: 1842

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01 Nov 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Are indirect connections in social networks important to animal behaviour?
Lauren Brent
University of Exeter

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Social network analysis’ ability to measure individual connectedness in both the dyadic and polyadic (or ‘indirect’) sense is one of the main features that sets it apart from more traditional approaches to the study of behaviour. Indirect connections influence the health, well-being, and financial success of humans. But whether indirect connections are important to other animals, and by consequence critical to biologists’ understanding of the causes and consequences of sociality in those animals, remains unclear. Here, I aim to demonstrate that there is mounting evidence that indirect connections are important to our understanding of animal behaviour. I focus on studies that have explored the fitness consequences of indirect connections, highlighting those that have uncovered new and important information that would not have been revealed had the focus been solely at the level of dyadic associations. Based on this overview, I conclude that although the number of studies that demonstrate that indirect connections may be an important component of animal sociality has become too great to ignore, many questions remain open and additional research is required.

http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Lauren_Brent

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refID: 1813

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27 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Ecological applications for molecular biomarkers of animal age
Prof. Simon Jarman
Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto

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20 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Communication in bottlenose dolphins
Laela Sayigh
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

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20 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Communication in bottlenose dolphins
Laela Sayigh
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

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refID: 1844

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19 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

CANCELLED :BSRC Seminar: Inhibiting asparagine biosynthesis in human cells: a new approach to developing anti-cancer agents
Professor Nigel Richards
Cardiff University, Head of Biological Chemistry

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18 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Assessing whale recovery from exploitation: case studies and challenges
Jennifer Jackson
British Antarctic Survey

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Population assessments are an important, integrated means of establishing baselines, recovery status and resilience for conservation management of vulnerable species. For cetacean populations, such assessments require good estimates of past catch history and current population connectivity, abundance and trend. In this talk I will discuss developments in the use of these data as well as emerging results from population assessments of humpback and southern right whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Pre-exploitation “carrying capacity” baselines can provide a useful means of gauging population recovery levels, but how accurate are they? Can we do better?

https://www.bas.ac.uk/profile/jeck/

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1812

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13 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture theatre

Fisheries distribution modelling for the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management
Iosu Paradinas

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host: jo26@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1820

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12 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

Biomedical Sciences Research Complex and EastChem Seminar Series
Professor Anne Duhme-Klair
University of York

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Taking Bioinspired Catalysis a Step Further: Photoredox Activation and the Quest for new Artificial Metalloenzyme Scaffolds

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refID: 1839

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06 Oct 2016
1:30 PM
SOI
LT

SOI Seminars: Jellyfish and fish farms: UK and China collaborative research
Dr Zhang Fang and Dr Anna Kintner
Chinese Institute of Oceanography and St Andrews

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refID: 1831

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06 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Gatty Lecture Theatre

SOI Seminars: Enhancing biodiversity on tropical seawalls
Dr. Lynette H. L. Loke
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore

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05 Oct 2016
4:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Innovative Biomedical Education and Training
Dr. Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann
Drexel University College of Medicine

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05 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Seminar Room

The human gut microbiota: A treasure trove of novel carbohydrate modifying enzymes
Prof Harry Gilbert
Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University

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Biomedical  Sciences Research Complex & Biochemical Society Seminar Series

host: Dr Tracey Gloster

refID: 1838

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04 Oct 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Atypical birdsong and artificial languages provide insights into how communication systems are shaped by learning, use and transmission
Olga Feher
University of Edinburgh

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I will present experimental findings in zebra finches and humans that make use of abnormal song and atypical linguistic input to study processes shaping communication systems: individual learning, social interaction, and cultural transmission. Atypical input places increased learning and communicative pressure on learners, so exploring how they respond to this type of input provides a particularly clear picture of the biases and constraints at work during learning and use. Furthermore, simulating the cultural transmission of these unnatural communication systems in the laboratory informs us about how learning and social biases influence the structure of communication systems in the long run. Findings based on these methods suggest fundamental similarities in the basic social–cognitive mechanisms underlying vocal learning in birds and humans.

http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/olga-feher(a2bf17f7-b36a-42fa-acc0-cde39afe3f99).html

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1811

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28 Sep 2016
3:00 PM
Mathematical Institute
Lecture Theatre C

IDIR Talk: Biology Network Alignment Comes of Age
Dr Wayne Haynes
University of California Irvine, School of Information and Computer Science

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Biological network alignment has the potential to be as useful as sequence alignment has in relation to learning about biology, evolution, and disease.  Although about two dozen network alignment algorithms have been proposed, none as yet have proven to fulfill this potential, due to many shortcomings.  Some of these shortcomings include: lack of knowledge about how to best use network topology to recover biological information (EC? S3? Graphlets? Spectral?); how to balance biological information such as sequence against topological information; confusion in the literature between an alignment algorithm and the objective function used to guide the alignment, as well as confusion between how to produce the alignment vs. how to measure it's quality post-alignment; lack of a good multiple network alignment algorithm; lack of an effective method to eliminate the 1-to-1 nature of global network alignment, since 1-to-1 mappings are not faithful to the evolutionary relationship between proteins; and finally, due to the NP-complete nature of the problem, a lack of knowledge about how far we are from producing the best alignments possible?

In this talk, Dr Hayes will introduce a novel method that already solves some of these problems and for which there is a clear path towards solving all of the others listed above, and more. We clearly delineate the measure(s) M that measure the quality of an alignment, from the algorithm S that searches the space of all alignments looking for good ones according to M. This allows us to directly compare many measures M. We also demonstrate that our new algorithm S outperforms all existing algorithms by all the various measures M that we've tried.

https://www.ics.uci.edu/faculty/profiles/view_faculty.php?ucinetid=whayes

host: Dr V Anne Smith

refID: 1833

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28 Sep 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar: It’s the little things that make a difference – towards an understanding of the replication of FMDV
Professor Nicola Stonehouse
University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences

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22 Sep 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Learning from unlabeled calls and how to organize and preserve information about calls once you have identified them
Marie Roch
SMRU

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refID: 1817

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20 Sep 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Complex vocal sequences in animals: information, intelligence, or irrelevant?
Arik Kershenbaum

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Many mammal and bird species produce long, complex sequences of vocalisations, made up of a combination of multiple discrete sound types. Much has been written about the complexity of these sequences and what they might tell us about the evolution of human language. Recently, non-trivial statistical dependencies have been found in the vocalisations of many species, from humpback whales to Titi monkeys. Such statistical dependencies are often called “syntactic structure”. What is the relationship – if any – of animal syntax to the evolution of human language? Indeed, do these syntactic structure even have any relevance to animal communication? Authors have variously postulated that complex vocal sequences could encode individual information (i.e. act as honest index signals), encode more general environmental information (i.e. act as an intentional information channel), or perhaps be no more than arbitrary artefacts of the sound production mechanism. Answering these questions without being privy to the actual semantic content of the messages seems like an impossible task. However, I will present some statistical techniques that attempt to distinguish between complexity for its own sake, and complexity for the sake of communicative power. Furthermore, there may be models of sequence complexity that help to explain why human language appears to be unique, without the presence of any evolutionarily intermediate steps.

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refID: 1823

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08 Sep 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Pacific Walruses in Ecological-Societal Systems. Do They Matter?
G. Carelton Ray
University of Virginia

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See: Ray G.C. et al. 2016. Decadal Bering Sea seascape change: consequences for Pacific walruses and indigenous hunters. Ecological Applications, 26(1): 24-41/

host: plt@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1815

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25 Aug 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Gatty Lecture Theatre

SOI Seminar: Challenges of activity recognition in fish using accelerometer sensors
Dr Franziska Broell
Dalhousie University, Dept. of Oceanography

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Micro-accelerometer tags are a novel technology used to remotely monitor (aquatic) animals in the wild and provide data that can link physiological and ecological processes in the context of movement. One of the challenges with this technology is how accelerometer data can be linked to complex information on fish locomotion and behaviour that are relevant for advancing the management of commercially and recreationally valued species. This talk will offer an introduction on accelerometer sensors and the types of data that can be collected and their respective limitations. Based on a series of controlled-environment and field experiments we developed a library of automated signal-processing algorithms that relate acceleration signals to rates of activity, swimming speed, size-at-time and behavioural states in a variety of fish species. The algorithms are efficient in extracting behaviour (feeding, escape, swimming) relevant to energy budgets as well as behaviour associated with spawning and courtship and parasite dislodging while being independent of animal size or tag placement. This presentation will further outline how acceleration data can be compromised due to low rates of tag sampling frequency currently employed as well as significant behavioural changes caused by tagging and handling stress. The results can be applied to various animal species to advance ecological and physiological theory.
 

http://www.dal.ca/faculty/science/oceanography/people/students/franziska-broell.html

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refID: 1807

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22 Aug 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Learning from unlabeled calls and how to organize and preserve information about calls once you have identified them
Marie Roch
SMRU

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refID: 1816

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11 Aug 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

SOI Seminar: Data deficient: using ancient DNA to fill gaps in marine mammal science
Morten Olsen, Assistant Professor and Curator of Marine Mammals
Natural History Museum of Denmark and University of Copenhagen

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10 Aug 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Gatty Lecture Theatre

SOI seminar: Acoustical Behaviour of Guiana Dolphins (Sotalia guianensis)
Dr Alice de Moura Lima
University of Rennes

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28 Jul 2016
4:00 PM
BSRC
Annex seminar room

BSRC Seminar: Structural and functional characterization of class I Aureochrome- a natural optogenetic module
Dr Ankan Banerjee
LMU Munich

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19 Jul 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Social communication in humpback whales
Dr. Rebecca Dunlop University of Queensland
University of Queensland

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Humpback whales, though renowned for their song, also produce a complex repertoire of other communication signals, known as social sounds. These signals encompass both vocal, and surface-generated signals (i.e. sounds produced by breaching or slapping the surface of the water), and are directed at other members within their group as well as other groups in the area. Noise in the ocean can be from natural sources (e.g. wind causing surface waves) or from anthropogenic sources (e.g. vessels). In response to increases in wind noise, humpback whales tend to use more surface-generated sounds and increase their vocal source level. These changes are not evident in response to increased vessel noise. However, humpback whales also change their communication behaviour depending on the ‘audience’, resulting in a complex interplay between the intended receiver of the signal, the noise, and the audience.

http://www.uq.edu.au/whale/rebecca-dunlop

host: ecg5@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1797

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13 Jul 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre D

A quantum needle for the avian magnetic compass
Prof. Peter Hore
University of Oxford

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Prof. Hore made seminal contributions to the fields of NMR, EPR and spin chemistry. He was just awarded the RSC Interdisciplinary Pprize “Awarded for his outstanding contributions to understanding biological structure and function using the phenomenon of spin”. A major research theme in recent years has been sensing the earth’s magnetic field by the field dependent recombination yield of a photo-chemically generated radical pair in blue light photoreceptor proteins.

http://hore.chem.ox.ac.uk/

host: Dr Bela Bode

refID: 1799

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07 Jul 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

MASTS Update Seminar
Prof David Paterson (MASTS Executive Director) and Dr Mark James (MASTS Operations Director)
MASTS

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Come along and find out how successful MASTS has been so far, how St Andrews has played an integral part in its accomplishments, and how you can all help in its future success as we enter MASTS Phase II. Whether you are new to MASTS, or an old hand, everyone is welcome.

http://www.masts.ac.uk/

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refID: 1791

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29 Jun 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: How to make a broad spectrum antiviral: Focusing on ER alpha glucosidase II
Professor Nicole Zitzmann
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford

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28 Jun 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: How archaea swim, and how viruses catch them
Dr Tessa Quax
University of Freiburg

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27 Jun 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:A global perspective on conflict and cooperation in animal mating systems
Professor Simon Griffiths
Macquarie University

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https://griffithecology.com/

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1787

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21 Jun 2016
4:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Functional links between splicing, transcription and chromatin
Prof Jean Begg, Royal Society Darwin Trust Professor
University of Edinburgh, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology

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15 Jun 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

BSRC Seminar Series: Harnessing plant metabolic diversity
Professor Anne Osbourn
Director, Norwich Research Park Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy Alliance John Innes Centre

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08 Jun 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Cytomegalovirus: a tale of corruption and evasion
Professor Gavin Wilkinson
Cardiff University, Institute of Infection and Immunity

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03 Jun 2016
11:00 AM
SOI
LT

Zooplankton ID in a nutshell
Dave Conway
SAHFOS

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01 Jun 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

BSRC Seminar Series: Stand-alone and hybrid structural characterization of proteins using EPR spectroscopy on spin label
Professor Dr Gunnar Jeschke
ETH Zurich, Dept of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences

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31 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Marine mammal tales from "down under"
Claire Garrigue
IUCN- SSC

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New Caledonia belongs to the world's most important hotspot for marine biodiversity and is home to at least 29 marine mammal species, including charismatic animals such as humpback whales. I will present the results of 20 years of research on humpback whales in New Caledonia and neighbouring regions of the South Pacific. Combining genetics and photo-identification over long-term surveys, we estimated the size of the population breeding in the New Caledonia South Lagoon revealing the slow recovery rate of this population. These findings have contributed to a reclassification of the Oceania sub-population of humpback whales as “Endangered” in the IUCN red list. Moreover, through collaboration with other research teams of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, we discovered a high fidelity and a limited amount of exchanges with other breeding grounds of the South Pacific (Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Cook, Samoa). Also, the recent use of satellite tags have brought to light interesting movement patterns and the important role played by seamounts during whales' Southward migration. Combining our tagging effort with that of other colleagues in the region, we are progressively gaining information on the feeding areas visited by humpback whales breeding in the South Pacific. The study of large-scale migrations routes could be the clue to understanding the difference in recovery rates observed across breeding sites. Finally, I will present our newest research project: exploring habitat use of humpback whales in the Coral Sea to inform spatial management over vast areas including both coastal and off-shore waters.

http://www.iucn-csg.org/index.php/claire-garrigue-phd/

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1754

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31 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar
Claire Garrigue

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host:

refID: 1760

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26 May 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Turn down the volume: impacts of anthropogenic noise on baleen whale communication
Dr. Susan Parks
Syracuse University

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host: plt@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1783

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25 May 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Metabolic Vulnerabilities of Cancer
Professor Eyal Gottlieb
Head of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow

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24 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Evolution: the Quaternary tale
Keith Bennett
University of St Andrews

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Darwin's "On the origin of species" has lead to a theory of evolution with a mass of practical detail on population genetics below species level together with heated debate on the details of macro-evolutionary patterns above species level. Most of the main principles are generally accepted, notably that life originated once, and has evolved over time by descent with modification. On Quaternary timescales, organisms respond to environmental changes by movement, extinction and evolution, but movement appears to be the most frequent. The connection between environmental change and evolution appears to be weak, which is not the result that might have been expected from Darwin’s original hypothesis.
The explanation of this result lies at least in part with the non-linear dynamics of the relationship between genotype and phenotype. `The origin of species' becomes essentially unpredictable, but is nevertheless an inevitable consequence of the way that organisms reproduce through time by a process that is `chaotic', but not `random'. The diversity of life should thus (i) be in a state of continuous increase, and (ii) show continuous discrepancies between genetic and morphological data in time and space.

https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/keith-david-bennett%283e034b07-2bc5-4bb6-b9a4-09027069132b%29.html

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1758

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19 May 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Ocean circulation, nutrients, and climate
James Rae
St Andrews

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Ocean circulation at high latitudes exerts a first order control on nutrient concentrations, heat transport, and CO2, with impacts on regional ecosystems and global climate.  The most recent time that circulation was notably different was the last ice age and deglaciation.  At this time conditions in the Southern Ocean were more stratified and deep water formation in the North Atlantic shoaled to intermediate depths.  However the behaviour of the North Pacific under different climate regimes is a major unknown.  Based on reduced export productivity, some authors have argued for more stratified conditions.  However other records indicate that overturning circulation was enhanced.  Here we present data and model results that reconcile the nutrient and circulation data, and provide a new model for the behaviour of the Pacific during past cold climates.  More generally, we discuss the role of overturning circulation in setting nutrient regimes and climate at high latitudes, and suggest that an enhanced overturning circulation in the Pacific may have aided early human migration to North America.

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refID: 1765

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18 May 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: In-cell EPR spectroscopy of membrane transporters in E. coli
Dr Benesh Joseph
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Frankfurt

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17 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Inbreeding depression in a social context.
Per Terje Smiseth

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Inbreeding depression is the reduction in fitness of offspring produced from mating of relatives. There is substantial variation in estimates of the severity of inbreeding depression, which may be caused by variation the physical and/or social environment. In this seminar, I present results from laboratory experiments on the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides showing that the social environment can have a strong and sometimes surprising impact on the severity inbreeding depression.

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refID: 1771

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16 May 2016
4:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Paramyxovirus entry into cells: a nano machine at work
Prof Robert Lamb
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Evanston, United States

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12 May 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Scientific Listening: Representing and exploring dynamic animal vocalisation soundscapes
Dr Ann Warde
University of York

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11 May 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

EaStCHEM colloquia series: Transmembrane Anion Carriers for Biological Applications
Prof. Anthony Davis
University of Bristol, School of Chemistry

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Prof. Anthony Davis (University of Bristol) is visiting Edinburgh this week.  His talk will be broadcast from Edinburgh on Wednesday 11 May 2016 in Purdie Theatre C at 3.30 pm.

http://www.bris.ac.uk/chemistry/people/anthony-p-davis/

host: cmb20

refID: 1772

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11 May 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: A Chemical Biology Perspective on RNA-Binding Proteins and the 5' Cap
Professor Dr Andrea Rentmeister
University of Muenster, Institute of Biochemistry, Germany

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10 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Landscape genetics of a North American songbird, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Rachael Adams
University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

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Understanding the influence of landscapes on the spatial distribution of genetic variation in species is necessary for their successful conservation and preservation.  Physical barriers (e.g. mountains, geographic distance) often restrict population connectivity and dispersal causing a reduction in gene flow and the occurrence of genetically isolated populations.  Dispersal barriers can also be non-physical (e.g. behaviour) and occur at smaller geographic scales (e.g. changes in vegetation). 

Although birds have high dispersal potential, evidence suggests dispersal is restricted by barriers.  One major concern lies with the increasing susceptibility of birds to changes in the environment through land use change and subsequent habitat fragmentation. 

Assessment of the geographical area or landscape is therefore critical when measuring gene flow and making inferences about barriers, as cryptic barriers may exist.  The black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is a common, resident songbird to North America whose range encompasses a number of dispersal barriers. 

Here, microsatellite markers were used to assess allelic variation and population differentiation in this species, and consequently, a reduction in gene flow is evident at both large and small geographical scales.  Our sampling regime allowed us to test for breaks in the genetic structure and to determine whether the discontinuities identified correspond to changes in habitat, vegetation, physical barriers or other factors. 

http://nussey.bio.ed.ac.uk/rachael

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1770

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05 May 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

SPECIAL CBD SEMINAR: Whither the Red Knot? Mapping and Modelling the Distribution of an Arctic shorebird at Landscape and Regional Scales
Prof. Richard G. Lathrop
Rutgers University Ecological Preserve

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The Western Atlantic population of Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) has undergone dramatic declines in recent decades and conservation biologists have sought to improve knowledge about the species’ ecology in an effort to address these declines.  One major information gap has been the lack of good information to describe range and habitat use during the breeding season, when the species is distributed sparsely across the Canadian Arctic. Airborne radio-telemetry surveys and intensive field surveys were conducted across the central Canadian Arctic to locate breeding Red Knots and record characteristics of their nesting habitat. Maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt) and geographic information system (GIS) data on environmental characteristics were used to predict Red Knot habitat suitability at two spatial scales: of nesting site location suitability at the landscape scale across Southampton Island, and of breeding habitat suitability (i.e., both nesting and foraging habitat) at a broader, regional scale across the central Canadian Arctic. I will examine the relative influence of different environmental characteristics on the predictions of this model of habitat suitability, comment on the bias inherent in such efforts for a sparsely distributed and difficult-to-study species like the Red Knot, and discuss the implications of the results for conservation and future status assessments of other low density shorebird species.

http://crssa.rutgers.edu/people/lathrop/lathrop.html

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refID: 1761

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04 May 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: mRNA capping in pluripotency and differentiation
Dr Vicky Cowling
University of Dundee, School of Life Sciences

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27 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Cell-cell synapses for Hedgehog signalling
Prof. Isabel Guerrero
Centro de Biologia Molecular, Madrid

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26 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Evaluation of model predictions under autocorrelation
Volker Bahn
Wright State University

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Evaluating predictions from models is a key to advancement in science. Ecological research often produces messy data that necessitates flexible and complex models. However, complex models and model selection strategies can overfit data, leading to a decoupling between goodness-of-fit and predictive power of the model, making goodness-of-fit an unsuitable evaluation measure. The alternative is to hold out test data for evaluation. However, when autocorrelation is present in the response variable, training and test data lack independence and model evaluations will be overly optimistic. I discuss strategies for decoupling training and test data in the context of species distribution models. While these strategies can reduce the underestimation of model error, they can introduce over-estimation of error by introducing extrapolation in explanatory variable space. This problem can be addressed by explicitly testing for analog conditions between training and test data, leading to realistic error estimates.

http://people.wright.edu/volker.bahn

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refID: 1740

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25 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
Irvine Building
Seminar room 310

DEES Seminar: Deciphering the geochemical fingerprints of sulfate reducing bacteria
Dr Alex Bradley
Washington University-St Louis

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Alex Bradley is an Assistant Professor at Washington University-St Louis who specialises in organic geochemistry and geobiology.

Microbial sulfate reduction is a critical biogeochemical process that plays a key role tying together the sulfur and carbon cycles. Sulfate reducing microorganisms catalyze this process, and produce chemical traces that can be preserved in the geochemical record. I will present recent results that combine approaches from microbiology, biochemistry, and genetics to try to better understand the information contained in the organic and inorganic geochemical signals produced by these microorganisms.

https://eps.wustl.edu/people/alexander_bradley

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refID: 1763

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25 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Designs for novel protein-based materials and supramolecular assemblies
Prof Lynne Regan
Yale University, Yale School of Medicine

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21 Apr 2016
5:15 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Carnegie Public Lecture in Astronomy: Robust Emergence of Diverse Planetary Systems and the Prospects of Life around Other Stars
Prof Douglas Lin
University of California in Santa Cruz

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20 Apr 2016
6:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

St Andrews Prize Lecture: Reaching Beyond Barriers to Restore Nature and Hope
Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager
Calgary Zoological Society, Director of Conservation & Science

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As part of The St Andrews Prize for the Environment final we are delighted to be welcoming Dr Axel Moehrenschlager from Calgary Zoological Society to give a public lecture on Wednesday 20 April at 6pm in the Medical and Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre. There is more information on the Prize website.

In this talk, Dr Axel Moehrenschlager will examine the impact of rising human
populations and the unprecedented pressures on nature as well as humanity
itself. He will discuss how the science and practice of conservation has been
developing to combat these issues. He will look at whether our response is
enough and how we can attract the support needed to confront these global
challenges for the good of nature and humanity.
 

http://www.thestandrewsprize.com/news-articles/reaching-beyond-barriers-to-restore-nature-and-hope

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refID: 1746

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20 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Understanding the function of proteins in membranes by multiscale simulation
Dr Carmen Domene
King's College London, Department of Chemistry

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19 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
Bute
Lecture Theatre D

CBD Seminar: An ethnography of cultural diversity in chimpanzees
Prof. Dr. Christophe Boesch
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

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A joint seminar with Psychology by Christophe Boesch, winner of the St Andrews Prize 2015, who will talk about "An ethnography of cultural diversity in chimpanzees”

All our present knowledge about chimpanzee culture is based on a maximum
of 6 to 10 different chimpanzee groups. This is extremely low compared
to the huge diversity of different human societies we can use to base
our knowledge on human culture. Not surprising due to this bias,
chimpanzee culture seems to possess much lower diversity, less traits
within populations and to show little evidence of imitation or
cumulative cultural evolution. Could this all just be due to our small
chimpanzee sample size? I will present our project "Pan-African Project:
The Cultured Chimpanzee" which main goal was to document behavioral
diversity in a larger sample of unknown chimpanzee communities
throughout the natural range of this species in Africa. First, results
from video-traps confirm the bias, introduced by working with a small
sample of long-term research project, to understand the width and
diversity of cultural diversity in chimpanzees.

 

http://www.eva.mpg.de/primat/staff/boesch/

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refID: 1720

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14 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Pilot whale group coordination and underlying sensory mechanisms
Frantz Jensen
Aarhus University

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host: plt@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1744

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13 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Mitochondrial Uncoupling Protein 1 and thymus function
Professor Richard Porter
Trinity College, Dublin

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07 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Do bottlenose dolphins recognise themselves in a mirror?
Alina Loth
Sea Mammal Research Unit

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host: al75@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1743

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06 Apr 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

EaStCHEM colloquia series: Redox-active Early Metal Phthalocyanines and Golden Pc Errors
Prof Daniel Leznoff
Simon Fraser University, Canada

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06 Apr 2016
2:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Latency of human cytomegalovirus in the myeloid lineage - can the latent reservoir be targeted therapeutically?
Prof. John Sinclair
University of Cambridge, Department of Medicine

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04 Apr 2016
1:00 PM
BMS

BSRC Seminar Series: Genomics-Enabled Natural Product Discovery
Prof Douglas Mitchell
University of Illinois, Department of Chemistry

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30 Mar 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

EaStCHEM colloquia series: Predicting structure and function in porous molecular materials
Dr Kim Jelfs
Imperial College London

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Dr Kim Jelfs is visiting Edinburgh this week as part of the EaStCHEM colloquia series.  Her talk will be broadcast from Edinburgh on Wednesday 30th March at 15.30 in Purdie Theatre C.
 

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/k.jelfs

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refID: 1745

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30 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Two-way communication between SecY and SecA suggests a Brownian ratchet mechanism for protein translation
Professor Ian Collinson
Bristol University, Professor of Biochemistry and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator

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29 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Far from the deafening crowd: The effects of noise pollution on songbirds
John P. Swaddle
Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA

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Humans are changing the environment at unprecedented rates, which can put intense ecological and evolutionary pressures on wildlife. One of the most prevalent yet relatively understudied forms of anthropogenic change is noise pollution. Here I will give an overview of the effects of noise pollution on birds, focusing on our group’s studies of zebra finches’ and eastern bluebirds’ communication strategies in the face of noisy conditions. These studies indicate that individual birds show substantial flexibility in their vocal strategies, but that withstanding noisy environmental conditions carries developmental and fitness costs. As noise imposes costs, I will also discuss our emerging line of research whereby we are deliberately deploying spatially-controlled “nets” of masking sound, which make it hard for birds to hear each other or predators, to displace nuisance birds from sites of economic importance—such as farms and airports, where birds can cause tremendous damages. Initial studies indicate we can decrease the presence of pest birds by more than 80% for prolonged periods of time while not harming the birds nor degrading surrounding habitat.

 

John P. Swaddle Short Bio

John Swaddle has been at the College of William & Mary since 2001 and is a professor of biology. He studies how human alterations of the environment impact wildlife and, in turn, how these changes affect human society. In a rapidly changing world, these multi- and interdisciplinary questions are increasingly important. John has been awarded several prizes by his international academic societies, such as the Young Investigator Prize by the American Society of Naturalists and the Most Outstanding New Investigator Prize by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. He’s also a previous Royal Society of London University Research Fellow and NERC postdoctoral fellow. He teaches courses in introductory biology, evolution, and environmental science. At William & Mary he has also served as the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and was the Director (Chair) of the interdisciplinary Environmental Science & Policy program. This year, John is on sabbatical at the Cornwall campus of the University of Exeter collaborating with colleagues in Centre for Ecology and Conservation.

http://jpswad.people.wm.edu/

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1716

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22 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Impact prediction of invasive species: old challenges and new approaches
Dr Mhairi Alexander
University of the West of Scotland

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Invasion biology has faced a number of challenges concerning the impacts of invasive alien species.  One such challenge is the development of predictive methodologies that can reliably forecast the ecological impacts of existing, emerging and potential invasive species. These challenges need to be addressed to advance both the fundamental science of invasion ecology and provide practical methodologies that can mitigate invasions.

Consequently, the comparison of the classical ‘functional response’ (relationship between resource use and availability) between invasive and trophically analogous native species may allow prediction of invader ecological impact. Indeed it has now been shown that a range of damaging invasive species have consistently higher functional responses than comparator native species. Importantly is has been shown that such heightened responses correlate to a high degree with known field impacts. Ecological impact of new and emerging invaders may therefore be predicted by the magnitude of difference in such functional responses.

In this seminar, a review of this work to date will be presented, demonstrating how comparisons between invasive and native species allow for testing of the likely population-level outcomes of invasion events for affected species. The methodology, already supported by a number of studies, is highly transferable and discussion will be made on its applicability across a range of systems. It thereby provides a tool that will aid in filling in gaps that exist in theory and application for the prediction of impact by invasive species.

http://www.uws.ac.uk/staff-profiles/science/mhairi-alexander/

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refID: 1741

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17 Mar 2016
1:45 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Xelect Ltd - Genetic solutions for aquaculture
Aubrie Onoufriou
Xelect Ltd

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16 Mar 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

The role of heme in biology: from catalysis to regulation
Prof Emma Raven
University of Leicester, School of Chemistry

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16 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Lessons in viral pathogenesis in the barnyard
Professor Massimo Palmarini
University of Glasgow, Centre for Virus Research

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15 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Complex effects of reducing cognitive dissonance on student learning about evolution
Dr Luc Bussiere
University of Stirling

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In spite of its importance to the life sciences, many students remain resistant to evolutionary theory, which impairs their understanding of biological processes and their academic advancement. To combat this resistance, the US National Center for Science Education (NCSE), suggests that evolution lecturers precede course material with a short statement explaining that many scientists and religious leaders see no conflict between evolution and religious belief. Such a statement is designed to reduce the perceived threat of evolutionary principles, but presenting it is controversial for many reasons, including the lack of direct evidence for improved student learning outcomes in response to this statement. To fill this gap in the evidence, we have experimentally manipulated the exposure of 2nd year Evolution and Genetics students at the University of Stirling to the NCSE statement in a pre-module survey designed to assess opinions and knowledge about evolution. We then reassessed knowledge and opinions using a similar survey (but without the manipulation) at the end of the course. In my seminar I will present some surprising and complex effects of reducing cognitive dissonance (e.g., through the NCSE statement) on attitudes and learning, including important interactions with the student’s prior level of resistance to the course content.

http://rms.stir.ac.uk/converis-stirling/person/11652

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1726

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09 Mar 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

When do particles of the same charge attract?
Prof Elena Besley
University of Nottingham

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09 Mar 2016
2:00 PM
The Observatory
Seminar Room

Charles Cunningham, University of Bath - Investigating the effect of climate on UK grey partridge numbers
Charles Cunningham
University of Bath

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I will be discussing my placement project undertaken with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in which I carried out a preliminary investigation into the effects of weather on the grey partridge.
The UK population has decreased significantly from the early part of the 20th century, and is reflective of a much wider European decline in farmland birds. Weather has a part to play in fluctuations in grey partridge numbers but it is not known how they will be affected by the long-term changes expected to the UK climate.
         To investigate this, models were fitted by comparing local weather data to grey partridge population parameters from count sites across the UK. Additionally, predictions of population parameters in 2080 were calculated using UKCP09 climate change projections to see how grey partridges would be affected.
         Temperature had a positive effect on grey partridge productivity and rainfall a negative effect, as might be expected. However, in addition to this, weather variables included in the model from the previous year had the opposite effect, and may be due to the weather influencing the numbers of chick-food insects the following year. Although the demographic predictions are not conclusive, they provide an important insight into the ways in which the changing climate will impact upon grey partridge numbers.

host: Dr Louise Burt

refID: 1723

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08 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Punctuated and gradual changes in speciation
Patrik Nosil
University of Sheffield

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Whether speciation is gradual or sudden remains debated. Darwin’s view of gradual speciation predicts slight changes in polygenic traits, genome-wide differentiation, and an interconnected speciation continuum. In contrast, modern theory predicts that speciation can be a more punctuated process involving genome re-arrangements, heterogeneous genomic differentiation, and ephemeral intermediate forms. I will present our recent theoretical and empirical work that helps to unify these extreme views.

http://nosil-lab.group.shef.ac.uk/

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1719

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07 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Do bottlenose dolphins recognise themselves in a mirror?
Alina Loth
Sea Mammal Research Unit

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host: al75@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1742

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03 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

Development of New ligands of the nuclear transcriptional factors TEAD for the treatment of colorectal cancer
Professor Philippe Cotelle
Université du Droit et de la Santé Lille 2, France

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02 Mar 2016
2:00 PM
The Observatory
Seminar Room

Postponed - Using seismic data to study fin whales in offshore waters off southwest Portugal. Speaker: Andreia Pereira
Andreia Pereira
Instituto Dom Luis,Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

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Instruments used for seismic monitoring have been recording baleen whales along with the target data. These long-term datasets, some in offshore waters, provide valuable information for the study of large cetaceans that would otherwise be difficult to obtain due to economic and logistic reasons. Fin whales are classified as ‘Endangered’ and therefore knowledge of stock structure, population size and spatial and temporal distribution patterns is essential for good management strategies. In Portugal, sightings of fin whales off mainland waters are rare and are insufficient to assess any kind of trend. Therefore, acoustic data, even collected from opportunistic sources such as seismic surveys, are useful for monitoring this species. An array of 24 ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) was deployed between August 2007 and July 2008 in offshore waters southwest of Portugal to study potential tsunami sources. Calls of fin whales were also recorded during this deployment. The aim of this study was to develop a spectrogram cross correlation automatic detection routine to: 1) analyse the occurrence of 20 Hz calls; 2) characterize the main two calls produced by fin whales (20 Hz and back-beats); and 3) assess movement patterns. The occurrence of the 20 Hz call was seasonal, with a peak in the winter months (Dec-Feb). The two main calls could be clearly distinguished by the median frequency, frequency bandwidth and inter-call interval and they seem to show seasonal differences. Movement patterns were assessed considering the presence of a seamount in the study area, the Gorringe Bank, which has been proposed for a new marine protected area, and the proximity with the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. These results provide baseline knowledge about this endangered species in offshore waters off Portugal and contribute to our understanding of fin whale occurrence and seasonal movements in relation to areas of conservation interest.

host: Dr Louise Burt

refID: 1690

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01 Mar 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Environmental stressors and their role in shaping animal behavior
Professor Victoria Braithwaite
Penn State University

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Animals that experience adverse events in early life often have life-long changes to their physiology and behavior. Although long-term effects of environmental challenges during early life have been studied extensively, relatively less attention has been given to the consequences of negative experiences solely during the adolescent phase. Adolescence is a particularly sensitive period of life when regulation of the glucocorticoid “stress” hormone response matures and specific regions in the brain undergo considerable change. Aversive experiences during this time may, therefore, have long-term consequences for the adult phenotype. I will describe some recent experiments where we investigated the long-term effects of exposure during adolescence to chronic, unpredictable stress (using a combination of social, physical and predation stressors). The data show that the experience of environmental challenges in adolescence affects multiple aspects of the adult behavioural phenotype; including decision-making, coping responses, cognitive bias as well as exploratory and foraging behavior.

http://bio.psu.edu/directory/vab12

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1725

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25 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Bottlenose dolphin population structure and evolutionary history in the North-East Atlantic
Marie Louis (new postdoc in Oscar Gaggiotti’s group)

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Despite no obvious barrier to gene flow, environmental variation and ecological specializations can lead to genetic differentiation in the marine environment. Bottlenose dolphins are highly mobile social marine mammals that show fine-scale genetic structure and ecological and morphological variations across their range. We investigated the genetic structure of this species in the North-East Atlantic (NEA) through analyses of 381 biopsied or stranded animals using 25 microsatellite markers and a portion of the mitochondrial control region. Clustering analyses based on multilocus genotypes showed a clear genetic differentiation in two ecotypes, i.e. coastal and pelagic, each of them being further divided in two populations. We then investigated the possible drivers of this ecotype differentiation using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach combining evolutionary and ecological tools. Reconstruction of the past demographic history of the species in the NEA showed that coastal bottlenose dolphins were founded by pelagic dolphins after the Last Glacial Maxima (~10 000 years ago) likely as a result of the colonization of coastal habitats that became available after sea ice retreated. As dolphins are highly mobile, the opening of new coastal niches is not sufficient to explain the maintenance of genetic divergence between ecotypes. Skin stable isotope values and stomach content analyses indicated that coastal and pelagic bottlenose dolphins were feeding on different prey in distinct habitats. Ecological specializations, strengthened by social behavior, thus likely reduced genetic exchanges between ecotypes. The morphology of the two ecotypes was not significantly different, in contrast to other parts of the world such as in the North-West Atlantic. This might be due to a relatively recent genetic divergence or less contrasted coastal and pelagic habitats. To conclude, the results suggest that ecological opportunity to specialize is a major driver of genetic and morphological divergence. This work highlighted that combining genetic, ecological and morphological approaches is essential to understand the population structure of mobile species.

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refID: 1717

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24 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Trinucleotide repeat instability: from basic mechanisms to translation
Dr Vincent Dion
Center for Integrative Genomics, Lausanne, Switzerland

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18 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

SMRU data management
Clint Blight and Matt Donnelly
SMRU and BODC

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refID: 1684

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18 Feb 2016
12:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Everyone's favorite binding partner; exploring the cell-ECM interactome using the Collagen Toolkits
Prof. Richard Farndale
University of Cambridge

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17 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Data management best practice
Matthew Donnelly
BODC

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A presentation about general marine data management which should be relevant to most staff and students within the SOI. The talk will consider the importance of a data legacy and the changing world of data and cover topics such as scientific data, data security, metadata, vocabularies and open data.

host: cjb22@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1724

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16 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:Incorporating diverse values into small-scale fisheries management
Christina Hicks
Lancaster University, Environment Centre

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Fisheries management often results in trade-offs that influence who benefits, or what they benefit from. Effective and equitable fisheries management can be informed by an understanding of when and why these trade-offs occur. Ecosystem services are the benefits people receive from nature and as a concept are gaining attention in natural resource and fisheries management. Using examples from coral reef fisheries in the western Indian Ocean, I ask: 1) what are the common trade-offs that emerge among people and among ecosystem services? And, 2) what enables or constrains different people from benefitting from these ecosystem services? I found that trade-offs often occur across scale (local vs national benefits), across category (cultural vs provisioning), and that resource users perceive more trade-offs than scientists; but managers can potentially mediate these differences. Further, I found that key access mechanisms influence who is able to benefit from ecosystem services and what benefits they perceive. In particular, social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms (rather than rights or economic mechanisms) have the greatest influence on the number and diversity of benefits that people perceive. However, local context strongly determines whether specific access mechanisms enable or constrain perceived benefits. For example, local ecological knowledge enables people to perceive a habitat benefit in Kenya, but constrains people from perceiving the same benefit in Madagascar. Ecosystem service assessments, and their resultant policies, need to take into consideration the broad suite of access mechanisms that enable different people to benefit from a supply of ecosystem services.

 

Please let me know if you would like to meet Christina during her visit

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1714

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16 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar:
Christina Hicks
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

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11 Feb 2016
1:30 PM
SOI
LT

Bellhop, Bayes and Behaviour-- Using Passive Acoustics to assess Bottlenose Dolphin Behaviour on the Eastern Scottish Coast
Kaitlin Palmer
SMRU

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host: kp37@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1689

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11 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Preliminary results from a computational multi agent modelling approach to study humpback whale song cultural transmission
Luca Lamoni
SMRU

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host: ll42@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1688

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09 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Missing links in macroecology: the young and the small
Sally Ann Keith

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After 200 years of scientific endeavor, the factors that drive species diversity and distributions on Earth remain unresolved. My research has identified two areas of limited understanding that if targeted could help fill in the story of the generation and maintenance of biodiversity patterns: (1) early life stages, and (2) biotic interactions. With new approaches and unique data, I am beginning to reveal the relative importance of these factors, using Indo-Pacific coral reefs as a model system. Here I present tests of the extent to which reproduction, establishment and competition can influence species distributions and diversity. From this work, it is clear that local processes and those that occur early in an organism’s life cycle, can influence the biogeographic patterns we see today, and that the next essential step for macroecology to progress as a discipline is to produce a framework that can link small scale processes to global biodiversity patterns.

http://sallykeith.weebly.com/

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1713

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04 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Humpback whale winter songs in the sub-arctic
Edda Magnusdottir
University of Iceland

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host: pm29@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1708

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03 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

POSTPONED/BSRC Seminar Series: Lessons in viral pathogenesis in the barnyard
Professor Massimo Palmarini
University of Glasgow, Centre for Virus Research

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02 Feb 2016
1:00 PM
Dyers Brae
Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Culture and the Evolution of Swamp Sparrow Song
Dr Robert Lachlan
Queen Mary University of London

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While cultural transmission is widespread the stable, the kind of population-wide, stable traditions that form the basis of human culture are rare among non-human animals. One explanation for this apparent discrepancy is that cultural transmission must be very precise for traditions to be maintained. In the swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), however, stable, population-wide traditions exist, based on learned song. I will discuss several recent studies investigating this phenomenon. First, I will describe a method, based on cultural evolutionary models, to estimate the precision of vocal learning. This demonstrates that cultural transmission of song is exceptionally precise with an error rate of 0.001 or lower. This invites the question of why vocal learning has evolved to become so precise in the swamp sparrow. I will describe playback experiments on males and females that suggest that precisely-learned songs are more attractive. 

Finally, I will argue that the psychological process of categorization has played a surprisingly critical role in the evolution of precise transmission in the swamp sparrow. With categorical perception and precise learning in place, hierarchically structured cultural traditions could arise, built on note type categories that are strikingly similar to human phonemes. 

http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/staff/robertlachlan.html

host: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

refID: 1712

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28 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services. An overview from a management perspective
Cati Torres
MASTS Visiting Research Fellow

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As long claimed by the scientific community, both the design of local and national strategies and the need for international cooperation aimed at preserving coastal and marine ecosystems are of high priority.

 

The EU water policy serves as a basis for the development of such strategies. Indeed, the EU has developed a series of Directives serving as a framework for the EU water policy which aim to give guidance to the Member States on the protection of inland, transitional, coastal as well as ground waters, and of marine environments. In this context, the development of decision-making tools helping to assess the trade-offs in marine and coastal environments can play an important role. Economic Valuation and Cost-Benefit Analysis are key methods in this regard. They can provide decision makers with information about the social benefits and costs associated with alternative management practices, thus contributing to measure their social profitability. Consequently, these methods allow policy makers to prioritize policies on the basis of welfare-maximization issues, thus helping to make the decision-making process more efficient. This is of special relevance in a framework where environmental policies increasingly call for a balancing of benefits and costs of regulations, as required by regulatory impact assessments.

 

The talk will be directed to present the first draft of a report which aims to provide, through an extensive literature review, a comprehensive overview of the knowledge base regarding valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services. The report puts emphasis on the analysis of both the policy implications of the reviewed studies as well as the existing challenges. This way, it wants to contribute to examine the role that economic valuation can play in the management of these ecosystems. Even more importantly, it pursues to promote discussion among social and ecological researchers about which the further research needs are in order to identify the collaborative work necessary for a better management of coastal and marine ecosystems. In other words, it wants to serve as a basis to build a common language between both disciplines, which is crucial to ensure sustainability of natural resources.

host: Dr Andrew Blight

refID: 1681

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27 Jan 2016
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

BSRC Seminar Series: Chemistry for regenerative medicine: discovery of small molecules to manipulate stem cell fate
Professor Angela Russell
Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford

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27 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Mechanism and evolution in vertebrate limb regeneration
Professor Jeremy Brockes
University College London

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26 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae seminar room

CBD Seminar Series: The Genetic Basis of Sexual Antagonism
Max Reuter,
University College London

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21 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

The visual cognitive behaviour of fish: Can fish solve complex tasks with 'simple' brains?
Dr Cait Newport
University of Oxford

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14 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

SMM Conference Catch-up
Ailsa Hall
SMRU

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host:

refID: 1683

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12 Jan 2016
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar Series: Monitoring forest habitats: Projects and tools from local to global scales
Dr. Peter Vogt
European Commission, Joint Research Centre

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As the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre conducts a variety of activities to provide EU policies with scientific and technical support. Concerning land-use/landcover the research focus is mainly on large-scale monitoring and assessment, including natural disasters and modelling climate change scenarios. The results of these activities are datasets and operational services provided to the EC Directorates, Member States, and national agencies. Certain research products, for example a collection of software methodologies to analyse digital data, is made available for free to the general public and public Institutions.
Dr Vogt will  present a brief overview on projects and products related to the monitoring, analysis, and evaluation of forested landscapes including species data, sample applications from a variety of end-users, targeting different thematic topics at a different spatial scales.

Dr Vogt will be also delivering a workshop on the 13th on the GUIDOS Toolbox, which will show how JRC research and analysis products can be used for forest monitoring and assessment. For more details contact Sandra Luque: sl208@st-andrews.ac.uk or visit the JRC ScienceHub web site.
 

http://forest.jrc.ec.europa.eu/team/person/8/detail/

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refID: 1685

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14 Dec 2015
3:30 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Discovery, biosynthesis and bioengineering of novel polyketide antibiotics
Prof. Greg Challis
University of Warwick

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09 Dec 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Mechanisms that control the intensity and location of Wnt signalling
Dr Jean-Paul Vincent
Francis Crick Institute in London

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02 Dec 2015
1:30 PM
The Observatory
Seminar Room

CREEM Seminar: The Use of Expert Elicitation in Modelling and Decision Making
Tony O'Hagan
University of Sheffield

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Ever wanted to know how individual experts come up with their informed opinions? How they generate quantitative answers to difficult and uncertain problems? If so, then join CREEM on Wednesday December 2nd, from 1330-1600 when we host one the world’s leading experts on expert elicitation – Professor Tony O’Hagan from the University of Sheffield. Professor O’Hagan has consulted and instructed government, academia, and many corporations on the successful use of expert elicitation.

Ahead of Professor O’Hagan’s seminar, we will have two shorter presentations of case studies led by members of CREEM. Professor John Harwood (Biology, CREEM) will present work he has led on the use of expert elicitation to help inform policy and provide guidance on the possible impact of sound on marine mammals. Dr Rob Schick (CREEM) will present on the use of expert elicitation to help discern movements of North Atlantic right whales.

Schedule for the afternoon:

  • 1330 Introduction
  • 1335-1400: John Harwood – EE, marine mammals, and conservation policy
  • 1400-1430: Rob Schick – EE, right whales, and the mid-Atlantic migratory corridor
  • 1430-1500: Tea & coffee
  • 1500-1600: Tony O’Hagan seminar

Location: Seminar Room, CREEM, The Observatory

Abstracts

Harwood: There is growing evidence that individuals of many marine mammal species show a marked change in behaviour when they are exposed to noise from activities such as pile driving and navy exercises.  However, the biological significance of this disturbance is unclear.  Together with other members of a working group funded by the US Office of Naval Research, we have developed a conceptual framework that can be used to forecast the potential population-level consequences of disturbance. Unfortunately, for most marine mammal populations there are insufficient empirical data to parameterise the mathematical functions that underpin this framework.  However, there are a number of situations where regulators urgently require scientific advice on the potential effects of a particular development on specific marine mammal populations.  In order to provide this advice, we have used expert elicitation to obtain estimates of the relevant parameters and the uncertainty associated with these estimates.  In this talk I will describe how we have designed the expert elicitation process and how we have used the results from that process.

Schick: Approximately 500 North Atlantic right whales remain in the world, and despite decades of protection, their recovery continues to be slow. The migratory corridor in the mid-Atlantic ocean links the calving grounds off the southeastern United States with feeding grounds in and around the Gulf of Maine, yet is one of the most highly industrialised stretches of ocean in the world. Movements of animals through this area are poorly documented. We used expert elicitation to poll experts about two sources of information: 1) the seasonal distribution of right whales in the mid-Atlantic; and 2) certain movement transitions from/to the mid-Atlantic. Here we present results from the elicitation, and document how we will use information from # as priors in a statistical model for movement and health. We highlight important lessons learned - both in terms of how to conduct the elicitation, as well as what types of movement related information remains poorly known. In particular, movements of adult male right whales remains very uncertain. And in general, many experts have little idea of what is happening for right whales in the mid-Atlantic.

O’Hagan: There is no single, accepted state-of-the-art method for eliciting expert knowledge.  Different practitioners advocate different methods.  This talk will begin by outlining some leading approaches and highlighting the factors which might favour one method over others.  I will then concentrate on my own preferred approach, presenting some recent developments.

host: Dr Rob Schick

refID: 1660

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02 Dec 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Structural insights into Hunter Syndrome
Professor Randy Read FRS
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research at the University of Cambridge

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26 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

moveHMM: an R package for modelling animal movement with hidden Markov models
Théo Michelot
CREEM

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refID: 1670

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25 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Sensing intracellular DNA as a 'stranger' and 'danger' signal
Dr Leonie Unterholzner
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

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24 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Hybridisation and polyploidy in invasive monkeyflowers
Mario Vallejo-Marin
University of Stirling

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Global trade and travel are breaking down geographic and ecological barriers isolating closely related plant species. An unintended consequence of this secondary contact is hybridisation. In this seminar I will present a case study of the evolutionary implications of recent hybridisation between species of monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp.). Monkeyflowers were introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 1800s and have since become widespread in the UK, particularly in Scotland. Some of these monkeyflowers have hybridised and produced ecologically persistent, but sterile populations. We have recently discovered that a few sterile populations have managed to escape this evolutionarily blind-alley, and give rise to one of the youngest species in the planet, the Scottish endemicMimulus peregrinus. This polyploid species, was first found in 2011 in southern Scotland, and has since been identified in Orkney. Using a combination of classical glasshouse work, field surveys, artificial crosses, and genomic analysis, we are beginning to understand the origin of M. peregrinus. I will present unpublished work demonstrating that this species and related hybrids were formed asymmetrically, with a diploid mother and a tetraploid father. The directionality of this asymmetry is puzzling as it goes against patterns observed in model systems (Arabidopsis). In conjunction with other instances of rapid polyploid speciation, UK monkeyflowers may be used to illuminate the mechanisms and processes involved in the birth and death of evolutionary lineages.

http://www.plant-evolution.org/wp/

host: Dr Nathan Bailey

refID: 1674

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24 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Medicine Seminar Series: Genetic studies of type 2 diabetes and kidney function in diverse populations
Professor Andrew Morris
University of Liverpool

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Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in identifying loci contributing to a wide range of complex human diseases.  However, despite this success, there has been relatively limited progress in identifying the causal variants and transcripts within these loci, and the mechanisms through which their effects on disease are mediated. In this presentation, I will describe methods for “trans-ethnic” meta-analysis, and show their application to fine-mapping of GWAS loci for type 2 diabetes and kidney function.

host: medsem

refID: 1651

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20 Nov 2015
2:30 PM
MBS
Seminar Room 2

"The Ebola Outbreak Response in Kenema District, Sierra Leone - a personal account" , Andy Ramsay, WHO Field Coordinator, Kenema District (September - November 2014)
Dr Andrew Ramsay
WHO

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20 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Controlling the cell cycle
Professor Sir Paul Nurse
Nobel Laureate & President of the Royal Society

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Paul Nurse was appointed Director and Cheif Executive of the Francis Crick Institute in January 2011 following seven years as President of Rockefeller University in New York. He is also President of the Royal Society. Before moving to the US, Paul spent more than three decades as a research scientist in the UK. His senior positions included Chair of Microbiology at the University of Oxford and Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). He played a major role in ICRF's merger with the Cancer Research Campaign in 2002 to form Cancer Research UK - which he led as Chief Executive. Along with Tim Hunt and Lee Hartwell, Paul Nurse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001. He also won the US Albert Lasker Award along with numerous other awards and medals. His current research focuses on the molecular machinery that drives cell division and controls cell shape.

http://www.crick.ac.uk/research/a-z-researchers/researchers-k-o/paul-nurse/

host: Dr Stuart MacNeill

refID: 1665

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19 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Antibiotics Awareness Talk
Stephen Gillespie, Matt Holden and Katarina Oravcova
School of Medicine

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The Infection Group is marking World Antibiotic Awareness Week by organising a special event aimed at raising awareness around Antibiotic Resistance.

St Andrews Medical students will have the opportunity to discover some of the work of the Infection Group thanks to a poster display that will take place at the entrance of the School (just outside the lecture theatre).

Then, three members of the group are going to give presentations:

  • Stephen Gillespie: Better Diagnosis to Prevent Resistance
  • Matt Holden: Bad bugs and drugs, how has our overuse of antibiotics created the pathogens we face?
  • Katarina Oravcova: Antimicrobial resistance – examples from the laboratory and clinical practice

http://infection.st-andrews.ac.uk/2015/11/18/antibiotic-awareness-session/

host: Ms Marion Ponthus

refID: 1673

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18 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: In and out of the host cells: the Apicomplexa way
Dr Dominique Soldati
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva

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17 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Seminar Series: Drug Discovery in an Academic Environment
Dr Anthony Hope
Dundee Drug Discovery Unit

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Further details to follow

host: medsem

refID: 1650

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17 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar: Minimising the Climate Change Risk to Biodiversity: A Multiscale Framework
Dr Christopher Ellis
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

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Risk has three elements: hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. These elements are applied to Scotland’s lichen epiphytes used as a conservation-relevant model, to address the impact of and strategic response to climate change as a hazard. Bioclimatic modelling is used to estimate the exposure of species to climate change, and this is downscaled in two ways. First, biologically, to show that distribution patterns relate to growth rates. Second, ecologically, to show that a species’ occurrence in the landscape depends on the interaction of climate suitability and habitat quality. Finally, these attributes (climate suitability, growth rates, and habitat quality) are combined into a population model, to understand how individual habitat patches can be managed to reduce local vulnerability and offset the negative consequences of climate change.

http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/lichen/staff_profiles/ellis/ellis_page.html

host: Dr Nathan Bailey

refID: 1672

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12 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Zooplankton life history as a bridge from climate change to fish and mammal predators
Neil Banas
University of Glasgow

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11 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

CANCELLED/BSRC Seminar Series: mRNA capping in pluripotency and differentiation
Dr Vicky Cowling
College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

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05 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Using high throughput approaches for understanding Ebola virus biology: from patients to cells
Professor Julian Hiscox
Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool

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04 Nov 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar: Using high throughput approaches for understanding Ebola virus biology: from patients to cells
Professor Julian Hiscox
University of St Andrews

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29 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

SOI Seminar: 'Safe' limits for deep sea fishing
Joanne Clarke
University of Glasgow

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28 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Performing under stress: Holliday junction resolvase Yen1 makes the cut for Dna2 to safeguard chromosome segregation
Dr Ulrich Rass
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research Basel, Switzerland

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refID: 1636

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27 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD seminar: Are we overestimating landscape resistance to movement? Insights from bears and lynx in the Iberian Peninsula
Prof. Santiago Saura
Department of Natural Systems and Resources Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

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Connectivity is crucial for species persistence and is largely dependent on landscape resistance, i.e. on the degree to which different land covers or features hinder species movements through the landscape. It remains however controversial which methods and empirical data are best for estimating landscape resistance. We focus on two endangered and flagship Iberian species, the brown bear and the Iberian lynx, each with less than 350 individuals in all the Iberian Peninsula. We analyze and compare the predictions from landscape genetics (brown bears), telemetry (GPS-collared Iberian lynx) and habitat suitability models (both species). We found that landscape resistance may have been considerably overestimated in most of previous connectivity assessments, particularly when movement through non-optimal habitat areas is considered, because of several reasons that may also apply to other species: (i) using habitat suitability as a surrogate for landscape permeability, (ii) not accounting for demographic determinants of dispersal, (iii) a priori assumptions on the lack of permeability of some cover types, (iv) changes in sources of mortality and in human attitudes towards mammalian carnivores, (v) technological limitations in tracking species movements (vi) not differentiating species behavioural states. Species dispersal abilities and population connectivity in heterogeneous landscapes may have been underestimated, with the risk of misleading related conservation strategies.
 
For more information regarding the software package developed by Santiago Saura visit: http://www.conefor.org/  Conefor is a software package that allows quantifying the importance of habitat areas and links for the maintenance or improvement of landscape connectivity. It is conceived as a tool for decision-making support in landscape planning and habitat conservation, through the identification and prioritization of critical sites for ecological connectivity. Previous versions of Conefor were known as Conefor Sensinode.

http://www2.montes.upm.es/personales/saura/index_en.html

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1655

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21 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Evolutionary ecology of bacterial adaptive immune systems
Dr Edze Westra
University of Exeter, Environment and Sustainability Institute

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20 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD seminar: Biological Diversity in a Rapidly Changing World
Prof Anne Magurran
University of St Andrews, School of Biology, Centre for Biological Diversity

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The unprecedented impact that humans are having on the natural world means that the biodiversity crisis is headline news. This impact is often presented in terms of biodiversity loss but our research is showing that change in the structure and composition of ecological communities may be a more pressing, but as yet underappreciated, threat. Our recent investigation of a Scottish marine fish assemblage highlights rapid temporal turnover in community diversity, and uncovers a link between biotic homogenization and climate change. The consequences of these changes for ecosystem functioning, and for policy, remain to be resolved.

http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/contact/staffProfile.aspx?sunid=aem1

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1654

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14 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Enzymatic Thiol Dioxygenation: Substrate Specificity and Reactive Intermediates
Dr Guy N L Jameson
University of Otago, New Zealand

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08 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD seminar: Environmental transcriptomics of thermal adaptation
Dr Rhonda Snook
University of Sheffield, Dept. Animal and Plant Sciences

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Understanding adaptive evolution is critical to predicting how organisms will respond to changes in abiotic and biotic conditions. Phenotypic and genotypic clinal variation is a hallmark of local adaptation in response to some spatial environmental gradient, typically temperature. The increasingly wide use of next generation sequencing has resulted in greater understanding of how both gene sequences and gene expression can change under different conditions across geographic scales, however, such studies typically have been restricted to the clinal ends, and/or not performed in situ (e.g. performed in the laboratory on lab adapted populations), and/or not on populations from their original distribution. Here we combat these issues by testing for signatures of local adaptation in gene expression in both a common garden controlled laboratory experiment and the use of caged in situ populations of male Drosophila subobscura from six populations across its native European latitudinal cline to identify signatures of local adaptation to spatially varying thermal selection. We identify genetic, cellular and tissue targets of selection, finding that southern and northern populations specialize in different responses.

https://www.shef.ac.uk/aps/staff-and-students/acadstaff/snook

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1645

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08 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Stock-taking at the IWC – an assessment of the current whaling situation
Mark Simmonds OBE

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refID: 1625

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07 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Cancer and diabetes as disorders of the signal multiplexing systems that shaped evolution of the vertebrates
Professor Carol Mackintosh
College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

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06 Oct 2015
1:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Medicine Seminar Series: Getting to grips with a slippery modification: why we should all care about adding fats to proteins
Dr Will Fuller
University of Dundee

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Dr Fuller will deliver a talk entitled:

"Getting to grips with a slippery modification: why we should all care about adding fats to proteins"

Abstract: Reversible post-translational modifications are the key to acutely changing cellular behaviour. While the role of protein phosphorylation in cell biology is well-established, protein S-palmitoylation (the reversible conjugation of the fatty acid palmitate to protein cysteines) has only recently emerged as a common and functionally important reversible post-translational modification in a variety of tissues. Protein S-palmitoylation is catalysed by a family of protein acyltransferases, reversed by protein thioesterases, and occurs dynamically and reversibly throughout the secretory pathway in a manner analogous to protein phosphorylation.

In cardiac muscle the generation of force is linked to tissue excitability by the movement of sodium and calcium ions across cell surface and intracellular membranes. We find every quantitatively significant route by which these ions cross membranes is palmitoylated in the heart. In this seminar I will describe the regulation of cardiac ion transporters by palmitoylation, the molecular control of protein palmitoylation in the heart, and discuss how this may be relevant in cardiac diseases.

Biography: Dr Fuller completed a BA and PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge.  He then moved to King's College London where he worked on regulation of the cardiac sodium pump in the laboratory of Professor Michael Shattock. During 8 years in this lab Dr Fuller developed interests in the regulation of cardiac ion transport and post-translational modifications - working first on the sodium pump, and later on its cardiac accessory protein phospholemman.

He established his own lab in Dundee in 2006.
The overall research theme in the Fuller laboratory is the organisation and dynamic regulation of signalling complexes in cardiac muscle during health and disease, with particular reference to regulation of cardiac ion transporters. They employ a variety of subcellular fractionation, imaging, affinity purification, biochemical and cell and organ physiological techniques to investigate molecular, macromolecular, whole cell and whole organ behaviours.
 

http://medicine.dundee.ac.uk/staff-member/dr-william-fuller

host: Dr Samantha Pitt

refID: 1640

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02 Oct 2015
11:00 AM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Mte1/ZGRF1 - a novel link between replication stress and telomere maintenance
Prof Michael Lisby
University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology, Functional Genomics

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Michael has made some seminal discoveries in understanding the DNA damage response and more recently has been using genome-wide approaches and functional genomics to study cellular responses to stress.
http://ccs.ku.dk/research/michael-lisby-research/

http://research.ku.dk/search/profil/?id=280629

host: Dr Helder Ferreira

refID: 1638

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29 Sep 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD seminar: What can amphioxus tell us about the evolution of developmental mechanisms?
Jr-Kai Sky Yu
Academica Sinica (Taiwan)

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Amphioxus is a basal chordate and occupies a key position for understanding the possible characters in the proximate invertebrate ancestor of the vertebrates. In recent years, studies of amphioxus have contributed fascinating insights into the anatomical and genetic changes involved in the evolutionary transition from invertebrates to vertebrates. In this talk, I will first review some recent advances in comparative developmental studies between amphioxus and vertebrates, and their implications for the evolutionary origin of vertebrate novel characteristics. Then, I will talk about some amphioxus peculiarities, including its left-right asymmetric development and germ cell determination mechanism, and their implications to the evolution of the chordate body plan.

http://icob.sinica.edu.tw/pilab/SuYuLab/Su_and_Yu_Lab/People.html

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1639

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24 Sep 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Jellyfish research in Qingdao, China
Dr Zhang Fang
Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Prof. Song Sun and his Pelagic Ecology research Group are involved in a variety of jellyfish research. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Chinese coastal sea has suffered from jellyfish blooms, which are considered to be among the most serious ecological disasters.  Together with the harmful algae blooms (HABs), jellyfish blooms impact the marine ecosystem, environmental safety, and the development of the maritime economy.  This presentation will include case studies of giant jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai) and moon jellyfish (Aurelia sp.) blooms affecting beaches and coastal power production, which originally sparked interest in this field.  Since this time, we have carried out various research cruises in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea to study population dynamics and life cycle ofN. nomurai and Aurelia.  To understand the reproduction strategy of these jellyfish blooms, we also studied how environmental factors affect the population reproduction by undertaking a series of controlled laboratory incubations and in situ simulation experiments on the benthic (polyp) stages of these species.  Polyps of N. nomurai tended to sprout medusae when temperatures were about 10–19 °C (mainly 10-13 °C), while Aurelia sp. prefer to sprout at temperature 10-15°C.  In order to predict jellyfish blooms in the future, we will develop further parameters into an index correlating with jellyfish biomass in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.

host: Prof Andrew Brierley

refID: 1614

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23 Sep 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BETting on epigenetic targets - from phenotypic screening to first time in man
Dr Chun-wa Chung
UK Head Biophysics and Structural Biology, GlaxoSmithKline

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17 Sep 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Targeting the Pathogenic Interactions of Lyssaviruses
Dr. Gregory Mosely
University of Melbourne

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16 Sep 2015
2:00 PM
The Observatory
Seminar Room

A cost-benefit analysis of prey selection in deep-diving pilot whales: choosing from a broad menu with kid options. Natacha Aguilar de Soto, CREEM-SOI
Natacha Aguilar de Soto, CREEM-SOI
CREEM - SOI

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A cost-benefit analysis of prey selection in deep-diving pilot whales: choosing from a broad menu with kid options.

The survival of a social group depends on the foraging decisions of each individual and of a balance in sharing foraging resources among group members. Data from multisensor DTAGs attached to 80 short-finned pilot whales show that they perform different foraging tactics: their “cheetash of the deep sea” tactic: sprinting at depth to target few rewarding prey; and less energetic night-time hunting of more prey per dive in the shallow and deep scattering layers. The fact that pilot whales perform foraging dives during day and night to different depths and at different swimming speeds, results in high differences in the transport cost of the dives. Our hypothesys is that whales may target different prey types in these dives. This is because many species of deep water fauna perform daily vertical migrations, meaning that not all prey types are available 24 hrs at all depths. Also, we expect that the relative caloric value of  prey targeted in different dives is indicated by how much energy whales are prepared to invest in a dive to perform so many prey capture attempts.

Here, we explore how a Random Forest classification method supports  dividing the dives in classes that seem to correspond to broad prey types with variable cost-benefit trade-offs, and perform a cost-benefit analysis to estimate the relative caloric value of these prey, and the reliance of the whales on the different prey types. For this we use: i) independent estimates of relative hunting energetic costs per dive from indirect respirometry and from movement indicators, comparing the performance of different indicators such as Overall and Vectorial Dynamic Body Acceleration (ODBA and VeDBA), acceleration rate (jerk) and speed-dependent hydrodynamic drag to predict oxygen uptake after dives; ii) estimations of abundance and depth-distribution of prey derived from the echolocation activity of the whales (buzzes indicating prey capture attempts).

Results show that there are cheap and expensive foraging tactics and the post-dive oxygen uptake is well predicted by the depth and the speed reached during each dive. Diving capabilities are related to body mass, however, large adult males and smaller females/sub-adult males reach similar maximum depths and speeds. In contrast, juveniles perform “cheap” dives, foraging shallower/slower than adults, probably because of the higher mass-specific metabolic rate and lower oxygen stores of young. This apparent ontogenetic partial niche segregation and the broad diet-breadth of short-finned pilot whales may be essential to sustain the large and cohesive social groups of this top-predator in the deep ocean. Knowing about the foraging requirements of deep-water top-predators is essential to predict the potential impacts of expanding mesopelagic fisheries. Overfishing in coastal areas has affected local populations of birds and other taxa; it is timely to manage fisheries to prevent these effects on top-predators inhabiting the deep ocean. Also, learning about the energetic balance of the species informs transfer functions to predict effects of human disturbance, e.g. from anthropogenic noise.

 

This seminar reports findings of papers in preparation with the following coauthors: Mark Johnson (SMRU), Jacobo Marrero (Univ. La Laguna, Canary Islands), Peter Madsen (Univ. Aarhus, Denmark), Lucía Martín (SMRU), Jeanne Shearer (Univ. St. Andrews).

 

host: Dr Louise Burt

refID: 1606

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03 Sep 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Frills and Spills: the interplay of body size, shape and oxygen in aquatic organisms.
Dr Andrew Hirst
Queen Mary University of London

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18 Aug 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD seminar: The Evolution of Body Plans and Body Parts: Perspectives from Studying the Evolution of Developmental Regulation in Spiders and Flies
Alistair McGregor
Oxford Brookes University

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10 Aug 2015
12:30 PM
SOI
Gatty Lecture Theatre

Relative sea level change scenarios for regional Scottish coastlines
Prof William Ritchie

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This presentation is not an assessment of the various climatic change scenarios that are currently available for Scotland. Irrespective of the veracity of any model, the possible/probable effects on different sectors of the coastline of Scotland need to be considered in the wider context of existing regional changes that are caused by other factors than purported (climatic change) rises in sea level. Predications and therefore consequential managerial/planning/risk assessments should also recognise the complexity of regional and local coastal changes. Arguably, there are coastal situations where these changes can be related to causal factors that are an order of magnitude greater than “climatic change” driven relative rises in sea level. Moreover, the well-established knowledge of the post-glacial isostatic emergence – submergence isopleths divide Scotland into two zones - the periphery where submergence is additional, and the remainder where emergence prevails – so that the relative change in the land/sea boundary for any particular area of Scotland is the arithmetic sum of both isostatic and eustatic factors. Finally, as a codicil, the current and correct planning option of ADAPTATION needs to continue to use a risk/cost-benefit approach to applying effort and resources to future managerial decision-making procedures.
 

host:

refID: 1609

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13 Jul 2015
11:00 AM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

Centre for Biological Diversity: When to care for and when to kill another female’s offspring
Dieter Lukas
University of Cambridge, Department of Zoology

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Female relationships across mammals range from highly supportive to intensively aggressive, often within the same species. While differences in the structure of female relationships may have played a major role in the evolution of mammalian sociality, only few studies have investigated why and how female interactions differ across species. In this presentation, I will show that competition between females is frequently as intense as what has been reported for males, and that variation in the intensity of female competition is linked to female reproductive investment. Finally, I will discuss how competition influences cooperation between females.

Dieter Lukas is interested in why animal species differ so widely in their social and mating behaviour. He is currently a Postdoc at the University of Cambridge, where he compares which aspects of the environment are shared between mammals with similar behaviour.
 

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/directory/dr-dieter-lukas

host: Dr Christian Rutz

refID: 1604

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10 Jul 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: T-cell immunity: The good the bad and the ugly
Professor Jamie Rossjohn
Monash University, Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Australia

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10 Jul 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

Centre for Biological Diversity: Behavioral flexibility is not predicted by innovation or brain size in great-tailed grackles, New Caledonian crows, and Western scrub jays
Corina Logan
University of Cambridge, Department of Zoology, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

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Many cross-species studies attest that innovation frequency (novel food types eaten and foraging techniques used) is a measure of behavioral flexibility and show that it positively correlates with relative brain size (corrected for body size). I investigated behavioral flexibility directly in three bird species that vary in innovation frequency and relative brain size, and found that it does not correlate with either variable. These results challenge long-standing assumptions and question the use of proxies for behavioral flexibility.
 
Corina Logan is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. She studies behavioral flexibility in birds: their ability to adapt their behavior to changing circumstances; and the social, genetic, and environmental factors that correlate with brain size variation in red deer.

http://corinalogan.com/

host: Dr Christian Rutz

refID: 1603

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06 Jul 2015
5:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Keynote Speech: International Environmental Omics Synthesis Conference: Genomics and Inheritance
Professor Elizabeth A. Thompson
University of Washington, School of Statistics

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More details about the 4-day International Environmental Omics Synthesis Conference in St Andrews, as well as speakers and programme, can be found on the iEOS web site.

Genetic diversity in a species is key to its success in a changing environment, and a key determinant of genetic diversity is the ancestral history of the population.  Classically such ancestral structure was considered in terms of population demography and pedigree-based relationships.  Analyses were often constrained by the assumed pedigree structures, and by the assumption that individuals not specified as related have independent genetic data.  In reality, extended multi-generation pedigrees cannot be validated from genetic data on extant individuals, and any given pedigree can give rise to a wide variation of genetic descent patterns.
 
Modern genetic data allow for the detection of this co-ancestry at specific genome locations, and it is this co-ancestry of DNA that provides a direct measure of genomic diversity. Recently, primarily in human genetics, numerous methods for the detection of segments of genome sharing between pairs of individuals have been developed.   However, combining these inferences into realized structures of the changing genome sharing across a chromosome jointly among multiple individuals has proven challenging.  I will discuss a new approach to this problem, and show how, even if only pairwise estimates are desired, joint inference provides improved estimates.

http://www.stat.washington.edu/thompson/

host: Prof Thomas Meagher

refID: 1600

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06 Jul 2015
2:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

Looking at telemetry data from above and below: some technological and methodological thoughts of an animal movement ecologist
Dr Theoni Photopoulou
University of Cape Town

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Telemetry (the remote collection of data via communications systems) allows us to study animals that we would otherwise be unable to observe, in environments we don't have easy access to. The collection of such data is racing ahead of the analytical techniques we have available to understand the data and the systems under study. The type of information we can or should collect both determines, and is determined by, the questions we are able to address regarding the ecology, life-history and behaviour of animals. Challenging systems are often the most interesting, and sometimes the most important to study, but they present us with special practical and analytical challenges. Even though we now have the capacity to collect data in more detail and greater quantities than ever before, we often still have to make do with whatever we can get, or conversely, end up with data in large volumes or with more complexity than we know how to analyse. I will present examples of the data types and study systems I work with, including seals and black eagles, the importance of knowing how data are collected, and some of the methods I use to try to get the most out of these data.

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Theoni_Photopoulou

host: Dr Emma Defew

refID: 1601

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25 Jun 2015
4:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Virology Public Lecture: The continuing threat of influenza
Sir John Skehel & Professor Rob Webster

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19 Jun 2015
11:00 AM
SOI
LT

Seaweeds of the UK: Biology, Culture and Uses
Esther Hughes
Marine Biological Association of the UK

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19 Jun 2015
9:30 AM
SOI
East Sands

St Andrews Bioblitz 2015

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The St Andrews Bioblitz 2015 starts at 9.30am on Friday 19 June and runs through Saturday afternoonn 20 June. Tonight, starting at 7pm there will be a Forage Walk, at 22:15 Moth Traps and at 22:30 a Bat Walk! Tomorrow morning's events start at 4.30am with a Dawn Chorus Bird Walk and ends with a Beach Seine at 16:00. Activities will be presented by St Andrews Scottish Oceans Institute, RSPB, Scottish Badgers, Cupar Dive Club, Marine Conservation Societhy and Transition St Andrews.

The microscope lab will also be open all day for sample sorting and species identification.

A full timetable and map are available here. Happy hunting!

http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/bioResources/BIOLOGY/2530.pdf

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refID: 1599

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18 Jun 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

SOI Seminar: Studies of wild, semi-captive and captive marine mammals in northern Norway: Ongoing work and opportunities for collaboration
Martin Biuw

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host:

refID: 1596

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18 Jun 2015
12:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Carnegie Trust Visiting Professor Seminar: The role of the microbiota in asthma
Professor Brett Finlay
University of British Columbia

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As part of the Carnegie Trust’s scheme of Visiting Professorships, Professor Brett Finlay is going to give a talk on Thursday 18 June at 12noon in the MSB Lecture Theatre.

Professor Brett Finlay is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology, at the University of British Columbia. His lab conducts research in the fields of E. coli, Salmonella, Innate Immunity, and Microbiota.
 
A full biography is available here. For more information on his research activities, please visit http://finlaylab.msl.ubc.ca/.

Abstract: Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs whose incidence is increasing rapidly, making it a major problem worldwide.  Although the exact cause is not known, environmental conditions such as the use of antibiotics, mode of delivery, etc. impact on asthma.  Using an experimental murine asthma system, we demonstrated that shifts in microbiota triggered by antibiotics affected asthma outcome.  We were able to show that this shift needs to occur very early in life, and that certain microbes are associated with it.  We also found that intestinal Treg cells were affected, but not lung Tregs.  Using a clinical cohort of children (CHILD) we analyzed feces from 3 month old and one year old children.  Remarkably, we found that certain microbiota species from the 3 month old population were associated with protection from asthma.  Additionally, there were significant metabolic changes mediated by microbiota in those at risk for asthma.  By transplanting these particular microbiota, along with feces from an asthmatic child, we found that these microbiota decreased lung inflammation in the murine asthma model.  Collectively, we have found that microbiota play a profound impact on the host very early in life, which has later effects in asthma susceptibility.
 

http://finlaylab.msl.ubc.ca/

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17 Jun 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: The compound that you find may not be from the source you thought you used...
Dr David Newman
National Cancer Institute, Maryland, United States

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30 May 2015
11:00 AM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research in China:Top-down Design, Layout and Achievements
Professor Chunli Bai
Institute of Chemistry, Beijing and the Chinese Academy of Science

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Professor Chunli Bai is an exceptionally distinguished chemist who is the President of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Professor of Chemistry, CAS Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology, Institute of Chemistry, Beijing and who is a pioneer in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Prof Chunli Bai is also being honoured by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He will present his work but will also have something to say about the Chinese Academy of Science and partnerships with the UK. This is the only day he is free and we have very lucky to have Professor Bai visiting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bai_Chunli

host: Prof Jim Naismith

refID: 1590

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26 May 2015
3:00 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre B

BSRC Seminar Series: Molecular mechanism of entry of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) virus
Professor Zihe Rao

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Rao (as he is known) has been given a special Fellowship by the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his distinguished research career, is one of the world's leading structural virologists, and is an engaging speaker with an exciting story to tell.

host: Prof Jim Naismith

refID: 1589

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21 May 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
Lecture Theatre

“Studying sea mammals and sea birds in the Southern Ocean” – Science stories from our recent Biology Student Antarctic Expedition
Honours students

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In March 2015 six Senior Honours and six Masters students from Biology embarked on a hands-on educational expedition to the southern tip of Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula (as part of BL4301 and BL5124 modules).
During this lunch time seminar the students will share some of their scientific findings, expedition highlights and WOW moments in form of short presentations and a slide show.
All students and staff are invited to join the 2015 polar expedition team for some first-hand tales of this incredible Southern Ocean adventure.
For further info and visual impressions see the student expedition blog: http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/antarctic/.
 

http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/antarctic/

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20 May 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Energy and lipid metabolism in apicomplexan parasites - routes for drug therapy
Dr James MacRae
NIMR, Mill Hill, London

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15 May 2015
3:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

Candida albicans phosphatidylserine synthase: Roles in virulence and antifungal drug targetingBSRC Seminar Series:
Dr Todd Reynolds
Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee

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14 May 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Penguin/fishery interactions at Robben Island
Dr Richard Sherley
Exeter University

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13 May 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: In vivo enzymology allows direct identification of mechanism of action of antibiotics
Dr Luiz Pedro de Carvalho
National Institute for Medical Research, London.

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12 May 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar Series: Macroalgal-driven feedbacks and the dynamics of coral reefs
Andrew S Hoey
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia

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Coral reefs are in global decline with many being overgrown by large fleshy macroalgae. Once established, such phase-shifts are difficult to reverse. Theoretical models have suggested that the stability of these states arises from interactions among elements that form positive feedbacks; reinforcing and maintaining the state. Despite their potential importance there is a current lack of empirical evidence for feedbacks, and hence our understanding of how feedbacks build or erode the resilience of reef systems is limited. In this seminar I will outline my recent research examining how herbivory, a key ecosystem process on coral reefs, is influenced by changes in the composition and biomass of macroalgae. Specifically, I will show how the physical and chemical properties of both individual macroalgae and macroalgal stands shape the foraging decisions, and functional impact of key herbivorous fishes, and in doing so, form feedbacks that may lead to the expansion and maintenance of macroalgal-dominated reefs.

http://www.coralcoe.org.au/researchers/andrew-hoey

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1587

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07 May 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Identification of Sound Scattering Layers in acoustic survey data
Roland Proud

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30 Apr 2015
1:30 PM
SOI
LT

Current correction(s) of horizontal movement tracks
Sam Gordine
SMRU

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29 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: The Ebola Virus Outbreak in Sierra Leone : a first-hand account
Dr Marian Killip
University of Oxford

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28 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar Series: Sex, death & immunity in the bed bug
Michael Siva-Jothy
University of Sheffield, Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences

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Bed bugs have a unique mode of copulation - so called ’traumatic insemination’ -  which drives several aspects of their behaviour and physiology. In this seminar I will outline bedbug natural history and describe the results of experiments designed to better understand their unique ecology, behaviour, anatomy and immunology.

https://www.shef.ac.uk/aps/staff-and-students/acadstaff/siva-jothy

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1583

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23 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Monitoring large marine predators in large marine reserves: novel use of stereo-videography
Tom Letessier
Institute of Zoology

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22 Apr 2015
6:00 PM
MBS
Lecture Theatre

St Andrews Prize for the Environment Public Lecture: Ocean Extinction Averted! What will it take ?
Professor Callum Roberts
Marine Conservation Biologist, Environment Department, York University

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Human impacts on the oceans have increased dramatically in the last half century.  The intensity and breadth of these changes is imperilling marine life and biodiversity is dwindling at an alarming rate.
 
In our favour in addressing this challenge is the fact that human impacts in the sea lag those on land by a hundred years or more and while many terrestrial species have gone extinct, most marine species are still with us.  There is still hope of changing course and saving them but we face stiff headwinds in this effort.  How do we protect species when we don’t know where they are or even that they exist?  How do we protect life in a realm that is hostile to most of the conservation methods used on land?  In this talk, drawing on thirty years’ experience studying the sea and its protection, Callum Roberts will try to answer these questions.
 
FREE ENTRY – NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED

http://www.york.ac.uk/environment/our-staff/callum-roberts/

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22 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Thermostabilisation of G protein-coupled receptors for structural studies and drug discovery
Dr Fiona Marshall
Founder, Director and CSO of Heptares

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Dr Fiona Marshall is a vibrant scientist, winner of the 2012 Women of
Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship -
Celebrating women who are creating significant change, making
discoveries, innovating processes, establishing new ventures and helping
the UK excel in science, engineering and technology.

Fiona set up her own drug discovery company with Malcolm Weir in 2006 to
develop new medicines for diseases of the brain and metabolism. She leads
a team of 60 scientists, has invented 7 patents, has authored over 50
scientific papers and Heptares has become one of the UK¹s brightest
start-ups, raising over $40m in venture capital.

http://www.heptares.com

host: Dr Rona Ramsay

refID: 1556

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17 Apr 2015
2:30 PM
BMS
Lecture Theatre

BSRC Seminar Series: Signal integration in the control of shoot branching
Prof. Ottoline Leyser
Director, SLCU Sainsbury Laboratory University of Cambridge

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16 Apr 2015
1:30 PM
SOI
LT

Studies of bottlenose dolphin ecology and behaviour along the Slovenian coast
Tilen Genov

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16 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

Homeobox genes in the regeneration of Spirobranchus lamarcki and Branchiostoma lanceolatum
Tom Barton-Owen

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14 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
Harold Mitchell
Dyers Brae Seminar Room

CBD Seminar Series: Cultural transmission of humpback whale song across the western and central South Pacific
Ellen Garland
Newton International Fellow, School of Biology, University of St Andrews

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Cultural transmission, the social learning of information or behaviours from conspecifics, is believed to occur in a number of groups of animals, including primates, cetaceans, and birds. Cultural traits can be passed vertically (from parents to offspring), obliquely (from the previous generation via a nonparent model to younger individuals), or horizontally (between unrelated individuals from similar age classes or within generations). Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have a highly stereotyped, repetitive, and progressively evolving vocal sexual display or ‘‘song’’ that functions in sexual selection (through mate attraction and/or male social sorting). All males within a population conform to the current version of the display (song type), and similarities may exist among the songs of populations within an ocean basin. I will present a striking pattern of horizontal transmission: multiple song types spread rapidly and repeatedly in a unidirectional manner, like cultural ripples, eastward through the populations in the western and central South Pacific over an 11-year period. This is the first documentation of a repeated, dynamic cultural change occurring across multiple populations at such a large geographic scale.
 

http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/contact/staffProfile.aspx?sunid=ecg5

host: Dr Maria Dornelas

refID: 1566

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09 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
LT

The context-dependency of multiple stressor effects on estuarine sediment communities: a cross continental study
Joseph Kenworthy

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08 Apr 2015
3:30 PM
Purdie Building
Lecture Theatre C

EaStCHEM/BSRC lecture series: Molecular recognition in chemical and biological systems
Prof François Diederich
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

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We pursue a multi-dimensional approach towards deciphering and quantifying weak intermolecular interactions in chemical and biological systems.  Experimental study in this research involves the investigation of protein-ligand interactions, synthetic host-guest complexation, and dynamic processes in designed unimolecular model systems, such as molecular torsional balances.  It is complemented by computational analysis and exhaustive data base mining in the Cambridge Crystallographic Database (CSD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB).  Examples of intermolecular interactions quantified by this approach are orthogonal dipolar interactions, organofluorine interactions, stacking on peptide bonds, and halogen bonding.  We also investigate the energetics of the replacement of conserved water molecules in protein co-crystal structures by ligand parts.  This multi-dimensional approach is illustrated in examples taken from a variety of structure-based drug design projects.  Lessons learned are directly applicable to ligand design and optimization in drug discovery and crop protection research, but equally to the assembly of synthetic supramolecular systems.
 Specific examples will include the replacement of water clusters in protein-ligand complexes of tRNA-guanine transglycosylase (TGT), a target against bacterial shigellosis dysenteriae.  Ligand development against novel targets for antimalarials is illustrated by the inhibition of the enzyme IspD from the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, which is used by plasmodium and other parasites but not by humans, and of serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT), a key enzyme from the folate cycle for which ligands had surprisingly not been reported previously.

http://www.diederich.chem.ethz.ch/

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02 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
SOI/Gatty Lecture Theatre

Ganges river dolphin: Population status, conservation issues and research in Nepal.
Prof Shambhu Paudel (Assistant Professor for Wildlife/GIS/RS)
Kathmandu Forestry College, Nepal

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01 Apr 2015
1:00 PM
SOI
Gatty Lecture Theatre

SOI seminar: Toothed whales and tooth fish: depredation by marine mammals on fisheries around the Southern Ocean Islands of Kerguelen and Crozet
Christope Guine
Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC)

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He will be discussing the depredation by sperm whales and killer whales on fisheries in the Crozet  and Kerguelen area that he and Paul Tixier have been doing