Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 06 December 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Autumn 2018 

06 December - 1pm - Zoology Museum


Marta Rodríguez-Rey (Swansea University, UK)
Pathways of Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in freshwater ecosystems
Aquatic invasive species negatively impact on biodiversity, economy and biosecurity, especially on freshwater ecosystems which are among the most endangered but less protected ecosystems on Earth. Therefore, it is required, to identify the pathways of introduction and spread of invasive species in order to find optimum management approaches. In this talk, I will present the main outputs of my thesis entitled ‘Pathways of Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in freshwater ecosystems’. Species Distribution Models are applied to study the range expansion of multiple freshwater taxa (fish, arthropods, molluscs, amphibians and reptiles) by including both environmental and anthropogenic predictors. Also, I will present the social perception toward invasive species in three European countries, a study that was conducted to understand the society’s role in the invasion process, needed for the success of any management actions.

William Kay (Swansea University, UK)
Designing hydrodynamic biologging tags with a slice of policymaking on the side
Having undertaken a Science Policy Internship at The Royal Society last summer, I will talk first about some of my highlights from this opportunity, and some of my involvements in other policy-related activities since, often through the British Ecological Society. Not surprisingly then, also my thesis is quite policy focussed, aimed at providing an evidence base for managing the impact of tidal energy structures on grey seal movements and behaviour along the Welsh coast. Crucial to these aims is the design and deployment of bio-logging devices to record animal behaviour, so I will present a chapter where I have led a collaboration between engineers and ecologists to use Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques borrowed from aerospace engineering to improve the design of bio-logging devices attached to seals.









Monday, 26 November 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 29 November 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Autumn 2018
29 November - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Sergio Trevi (Swansea University, UK)

Trust your gut (flora): designing a study on the relations between gut-flora and lipid uptake in fish
With the expansion of the aquaculture sector in the last two decade new constraints arises. Raw materials like fish meal and oil from fisheries have become more expensive and unsustainable. Therefore, it is imperative to either replace those raw materials with others and/or increase the feeding efficiency. While many alternative ingredients have been extensively evaluated, the possibility of acting on the gut microbiota to enhance nutrients absorption remains mostly uncharted. The aim of my research is to manipulate the gut microbiota of fish to improve the assimilation of the nutrients present in feed, with particular attention to fatty acids.


Matt Watkins (Swansea University, UK) 
An Introduction to Radiocarbon Dating: Principles, Methods, and Applications within Quaternary Science.
Following a recent visit to iThemba LABS, Africa's first and only AMS dating facility, Matt will outline the principles that facilitate radiocarbon dating, discuss the AMS methodology, and explain why this widely applicable technique is invaluable to Quaternary scientists.


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 22 November 2018

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



Understanding primate variation: a perceptual ecology approach


Dr James Higham


Abstract
An often overlooked aspect of our order, the Primates, is just how radiational it is. Why have so many species of primate consistently been produced in relatively short periods of time? And why do they look so different, even when they’re closely related? Moreover, the mammals are generally a dull looking bunch. Most species are covered all over in cryptic grey, brown and black fur coats. Why are primates so colorful? Here, I explore the evolutionary mechanisms producing and maintaining variation both within and between species. I use our detailed studies of rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago to explore the mechanisms by which intra-specific variation is created and maintained, and our studies of guenons to explore inter-specific variation and adaptive radiation. To do this, I combine approaches from behavioral ecology, computer vision, machine learning, endocrinology, functional and quantitative genetics, and comparative and experimental psychology. The evolution of the appearance of the Primate order is a complex tale of communication and perception, which has led to the evolution of the most colorful order of mammals to have ever lived. It represents a stunning example of the power and grandeur of evolutionary adaptation.



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


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 15 November 2018

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



Comparative approaches to animal trophic ecology and life history strategies


Dr Kevin Healy


Abstract
The animal Kingdom contains a vast range of diverse forms. Across this diversity each species is linked by fundamental requirements, such as the need to acquire resources from the environment and utilise them to survive and reproduce. One of the main goals of macroecology is to identify the universal patterns regarding such requirements. My research focuses on using comparative methods and simulation modelling to test macroecological patterns regarding an animal’s ability to acquire resources, through trophic interactions, and how it allocates such resources between survival, growth and reproduction as part of their life history strategies. In this seminar I will talk about my research on testing body size patterns in the scavenging ability of vertebrates using agent-based simulation models, the use of snake venom as a comparative model of predator trait evolution and the use of matrix population models to identify patterns in the life history strategies of species across the Animal Kingdom. While my research focuses on the “bigger picture” regarding the ecology and evolution of animal diversity, I will also discuss how Tyrannosaurs rex was probably a terrible scavenger, why some snakes are so venomous, and how weird humans are from a life history perspective.



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


For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

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


Abstract
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


Abstract
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


Abstract
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