Sunday 27 August 2017

Biosciences Science Club Events 30 August 2017

Biosciences Science Club Series - Summer 2017
30 August 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum (W129)

Merging phylogenetic- and trait-based approaches into Network Ecology 

Dr Vinicius Bastazini

Dr Vinicius Bastazini, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling at the Station d'Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale CNRS Centre in Moulis (France) will be visiting our department this coming week and has kindly agreed to give also a seminar - muito obrigado Vinicius! If you would like to also arrange a chat with Vinicius, please contact Dr John Griffin.

Understanding how species interact and how the topology of ecological networks influences the dynamics of populations and communities has been mind- boggling ecologists for over a century now. Despite this long tradition and the rapid increase in the number of studies of complex ecological networks in the past two decades, only recently have ecologists begun to move beyond the description of topological patterns of interaction networks and started to integrate other important biological data, such as functional traits and phylogenies in Network Ecology. 

Therefore, the aim of this talk is mainly two-fold: to introduce a new analytical approach capable to integrate functional and phylogenetic information in order to describe structural patterns in ecological networks, and to demonstrate the effects of eco- evolutionary dynamics on network resistance.

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

Monday 7 August 2017

Postgraduate Seminar Speakers 10th August 2017

S P E A K E R   1
Tackling the freshwater invasive species issues by using innovative molecular detection methods

Teja Muha

Environmental DNA (eDNA) barcoding and metabarcoding methods are currently the most promising techniques for an early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Limiting the impact and spread of AIS requires an appropriate management strategy, focused on effective early detection, evaluation of their dispersal potential and to measure the recolonization success after eradication. The main aim is to develop and optimize eDNA AIS and native species molecular detection techniques based on the combination of eDNA field studies and mesocosm experiments. The following research is based on native and non- native aquatic invertebrate and fish communities found in Welsh freshwater bodies. 

S P E A K E R   2
Root traits underpin resistance to erosion in salt marshes

Davide de Battisti

Vegetation of salt marshes plays a pivotal role in coastal protection, dampening wave energy through its canopy and binding the sediment through its roots, allowing the persistence of salt marshes through time and to deliver their highly important services. However, abiotic factors might affect root growth and resulting traits, decreasing or enhancing erosion resistance and ultimately influencing marsh resilience to environmental changes. This study investigated the effects of different environmental gradients on the expression of root traits in salt marshes and, in turn, how this affects the ability of vegetation to effectively resist erosion.