Sunday, 18 November 2018

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 08 November 2018

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2018
08 November 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

From diet and habitat selection to demography: large herbivores in the Alps as a case study

Dr Anne Loison

Large herbivore populations have increased in Europe in the last decades, contributing to the return of large carnivores and possibly to maintaining plant biodiversity, but it also raises concerns regarding diseases, collisions, or competition with human activities (forestry, agriculture). It is therefore crucial to better understand and predict how large herbivores distribute in space and how their population respond to changes in climate , land use and to increasing outdoor activities. 

I will present some results on diet, habitat selection and population dynamics, coming from a long term study of mountain herbivores in the French Alps. We have been capturing and marking individuals (chamois, mouflon and roe deer) for >30 years, and equipping them with GPS since the 2000s, and more recently with bio-loggers.  I will show new highlights on habitat selection obtained by combining data on trophic niche (assessed from DNA barcoding of faeces), resource characteristics (estimated from field sampling and remote sensing), and individual movement (from GPS collars). I will then present our current projects aiming at (1) connecting individual movement, diet and habitat selection, to demography, (2) understanding the role of mountain herbivores on the dynamics of plant community and (3) at understanding the role of human-animal interactions on animal populations. 

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 01 November 2018

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2018
01 November 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Species’ range shifting and the velocity of climate change

Prof James Bullock

Climate change is leading to shifts in the geographic locations over which species can persist. Projections of climate change can be characterised in terms of the rate of this shift - the velocity of climate change. Mathematical models (Integrodifference equations) combine knowledge of demography and dispersal to project a species' rate of population spread - the wavespeed – which can be compared against the velocity of climate change. We are interested in calculating wavespeed for a wide variety of species, but there are demography and dispersal data for very few. We have therefore used data synthesis, mechanistic models and "virtual species" to provide a more complete picture of variation in spread rates and risks from climate change.  

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 25 October 2018

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2018
25 October 2018 - 1pm - Wallace Lecture Theatre

CO2 in fresh waters: photosynthesis, ecology & global carbon-cycles

Prof Stephen Maberly

Inorganic carbon is an essential resource for photosynthetic organisms but is extremely variable temporally, and spatially within and among lakes. At the same time, different photosynthetic organisms differ in the extent to which they can exploit the inorganic carbon reserves for photosynthesis, with capable species using carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms. Finally, although lakes cover less than 4% of the global non-glaciated land surface, they are biogeochemical hotspots and an important part of the global carbon cycle. This talk will explore the variability in reserves of inorganic carbon, their possible consequences for the ecological distribution in space and time of freshwater phytoplankton and macrophytes and the processes by which lakes emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 04 October 2018

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2018
04 October 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

From population modelling to popular science writing

Daniela Rabaiotti

(Zoological Society of London, UK)

Photo by Nick Lyon for #Dynasties - @BBCOne @BBCEarth

It is THAT week again - our Biosciences Seminar Series resumes for the new academic year - 2018/19! We are delighted to start by welcoming Daniela Rabaiotti from the Zoological Society of London and the Center for Biodiversity and Environmental Research at UCL. Dani is an ecologist and conservation biologist, with a strong interest also in policy and science communication. Currently her research focusses on understanding climate change effects on wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) - also called painted dogs - using individual and population level data and combining empirical data and spatial simulations. She has also completed two policy placements, as BES POST Fellow, and a RCUK placement in the Royal Society policy team, and has become a best-selling author with her book 'Does it fart?'. 

In this talk I will discuss my research into the impacts of climate change on the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, an endangered canid species, and how it lead me into the world of science communication. I will begin by discussing the findings of a temperature sensitive individual based model of wild dog population dynamics under climate change, and will lay out how I intend to use it to predict climatic impacts across the species’ range. I will then go on to cover how this work lead me to become a popular science author, via the world of policy, focusing on how social media can be used for science communication. I will discuss my experiences with using social media for science communication  and how it lead to the publication of my book ‘Does It Fart? The definitive field guide to animal flatulence’, as well as other opportunities in popular science writing.

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 04 September 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Summer 2018

04 September - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Jessica Ware (Swansea University, UK)
The application of artificial floating islands in saline environments

Artificial Floating Islands (AFIs) have primarily been used in freshwater habitats such as reservoirs, ponds and river systems for water quality improvement and habitat creation for breeding birds. To assess the potential application of AFIs in marine environments, this comparative study focuses on both the floral species suitable for island installation and the fauna associated with the islands including birds, fish and invertebrate populations. By addressing gaps in current research on artificial habitat creation, this study aims to support future ecosystem enhancement programs that seek to mitigate the loss of coastal habitats via coastal hardening.

Robyn Jones (Swansea University, UK)
Remote methods for the assessment of coastal biodiversity interacting with marine renewable developments

The rapid development of new technologies in the marine renewable energy fields creates a series of challenges in the management of marine coastal resources. Traditional methodologies for assessing habitats, fish assemblages and marine mammals are no longer appropriate as they are often not suitable for use around hard structure associated with marine renewable developments and any potentially sensitive habitats and species found in the area. The use of traditional technologies for assessing habitats and motile fauna creates uncertainly in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process potentially leading to poor decision making and opening up such decisions to future legal challenge. This talk will introduce different novel methods for the use of baited underwater camera systems, for assessing flora and fauna around areas with the potential for marine renewable structures and their associated marine environments.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 16 August 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Summer 2018

16 August - 1pm - Zoology Museum

José V. Roces-Díaz (Swansea University, UK)

Native or introduced by humans? Using species distribution modelling to analyze Sweet chestnut dynamics in Western Europe

My main research topics are a mixture of landscape and forest ecology, and I find interesting to analyze how the forests and their ecosystem services area distributed, and how we can use this information on landscape planning and natural resources management. In this sense, Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa: one of the most relevant forests trees of my home country region Asturias, NW Spain) is often classified as a “non-native species” and its origin discussed between scientific community, foresters, etc. For this reasons, we use a “species distribution modelling” approach to analyze its suitable areas in Europe since the Last Glacial Maximum until today. We have tried to confirm (or reject) if, as some authors found (based on pollen and genetic data), this tree had (glacial) refugia in Western Europe and can be classified a native species in this area.

Jessica Minett (Swansea University, UK)

Brown trout in the Falkland Islands: ecology, population structure and genetic diversity.

Brown trout (Salmo trutta) were introduced to the Falkland Islands on several occasions during the 1940-50’s, mainly for recreational fishing. Since, there has been a marked decline in the native freshwater fish fauna, which consists of only three species of galaxiid fishes, endemic to the Southern Hemisphere (zebra trout Aplochiton zebra, Aplochiton taeniatus, and the Falklands minnow Galaxias maculatus). Given the threats to the long-term conservation of the native galaxiids, detailed knowledge about the life history, movement ecology of brown trout and their overlap and interactions with the native species is urgently needed.