No, we are not getting the BBC involved nor will we invite over Dara O Briain (sorry!). But consider, we scientists come about in all possible 'shapes and forms' (e.g. here), yet one of the things we generally all like to do is discussing about new ideas, debate the pros and cons of different theories or methods, exchange tips on where to find specific species, etc. Our aim here is then to provide a series of biweekly informal meetings that complements our departmental seminar series. The Science Club events will be open to all graduate students and permanent researchers. There will be no prescribed format - everyone can propose to hold a journal club about a new exciting paper (or maybe tear apart an egregious clunker-paper that the illustrious high-impact journal 'put-the-name-here' has somehow just managed to publish as novel groundbreaking research ...) or present a short presentation (~20 min) about work-in-progress with the intent to generate discussions and feedback. For example, have you just finished preparing the experimental design you will start in the next month, or have you devised the sampling design for your upcoming fieldwork in 2 months time? That's exactly the time to get some feedback from your collegues and friends! And yes, that's also for you, MSc students :-) Same goes for upcoming conference presentations, or a manuscript you are trying to publish but continue to get bounced off due to increasingly obscure reviewer feedback, or ... any other suggestions are welcome! Just drop me a line at l.borger (at) swansea.ac.uk. And, we are off for a great start, thanks to Matt from the University of Sydney (Australia):
Matt (Matthew Hansen) is currently visiting our department for a month and will do some cool experiments in the CSAR facility. This coming Thursday, at 1pm, Matt will tell you about that and some other cool work he is currently doing. The title and abstracts are:
Social Foraging and Movement in Fish Shoals
While the co-ordination of foraging movements in eusocial species are well studied, the mechanisms behind social foraging in non kin related groups lag behind. Recent technological advancements in video analysis and tracking software allow us to revisit questions raised in social foraging theory over a decade ago and test them empirically.
My work explores social foraging and movement of small shoals of fish, and my current experiment aims to quantify how the nutritional environment affects individual and group behaviour.
Note the date in your diaries and join the discussion! Thursday 10th October, Zoology Museum @ 1pm. For the full list of Science Club events, see here.
[in case you wonder what the 'luca' acronym stands for in the first pic: 'Last Universal Common Ancestor']