Thursday 26 April 2018

Science Club Series - 26 April 2018

Biosciences Science Club Series - Spring 2018
26 April 2018 - 1pm - Wallace 113

How to Peer Review - a workshop with the British Ecological Society Journal Editors

Dr James Ross - Assistant Editor, Journal of Ecology   
Dr Christopher Grieves, Assistant Editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution 
Prof Luca Börger - Associate Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology & Methods in Ecology &Evolution 
Dr Emily Shepard - Associate Editor, Methods in Ecology & Evolution 
Dr Stephanie R Januchowski-Hartley - Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology

Workshop programme:

  • Introduction to the BES - what we can offer members and why you might want to join (30 mins)

  • How to be a reviewer - what is peer review, why it is important, the peer review process, how to become a reviewer, how to write a good review (45 mins)

  • Practical activity on what makes a good review. Introduction and background about the Methods peer review mentoring scheme, which the activity will be based on. Participants will be given examples of reviews and will rate them using the Methods mentoring system. (45 mins with time for questions at the end).  

A massive 'Thank You' again to the British Ecological Society for organising this.

For the list of activities see here

Tuesday 24 April 2018

BioMaths Colloquium - 27/04/2018

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2017/18

  27 April 2018 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)

The coupling of calcium signalling and mechanics: models and experiments

Dr Katerina Kaouri

(School of MathematicsUniversity of Cardiff, UK) 

Image by Katerina Kaouri

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series resumes for the spring term with a seminar by Dr Katerina Kaouri, from the School of Mathematics at University of Cardiff (UK). Katerina Kaouri holds a DPhil in Applied Mathematics from Oxford, on the modelling of sonic booms (see here a TED-Ed animation on sonic booms). After postdoctoral work in mathematical biology at Oxford and Nottingham she worked as a business consultant for a few years. Then, upon returning to her home country, Cyprus, she taught at various Cypriot universities for several years and co-founded the non-profit organization SciCo Cyprus to communicate science to the public in interactive and entertaining ways, a mission close to her heart. Katerina is currently a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University. 

Katerina uses deterministic and stochastic mathematical modelling, asymptotics and simulations to tackle questions arising from biology, physics and engineering, but also from industry and the society. In her math-bio research she focuses on the interplay of calcium signalling and mechanics, a challenge which is crucial in embryogenesis but can be of interest also in wound healing and cancer. Regarding the industry and society side, in 2016 she led the organization of the first Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, an intensive academia-industry workshop where 50 mathematical modelling experts from 17 countries solved four industrial challenges. She is also a core team member of the EU-funded Mathematics for Industry Network (31 countries) and of the project (12 countries) tackling 250 societal challenges across Europe.

Calcium signalling is one of the most important mechanisms of information propagation in the body. In embryogenesis the interplay between calcium signalling and mechanical forces is critical to normal embryonic development, but poorly understood. Several types of embryonic cells exhibit calcium-induced contractions and several experiments indicate that calcium oscillations and contractions are linked via a two-way feedback mechanism; disruption of these calcium oscillations leads to embryo abnormalities. I will discuss some of these experiments and present appropriate mathematical models.

The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 19 April 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Spring 2018
19 April 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum


eDNA as a conservation tool: from crayfish to cetaceans

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is increasingly being utilised as tool for detecting and monitoring a range of species in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are difficult to locate when at low abundances, however eDNA has proven to be an effective technique for enabling early detection of target species. eDNA has the scope to be applied for non-invasive genetic sampling of  populations of large mammals such as cetaceans, to inform management for effective conservation strategies. 

Matt Perkins (Swansea University, UK)
Materials and ecology of marine infrastructure
Marine infrastructure presents novel habitats within coastal ecosystems, comprising hard substrate of non-local origin (concretes, rocks, metals). My research aims to test the ‘ecological performance’ of such materials by examining settlement communities, in order to make recommendations upon the ecological impacts and opportunities such materials present. As a new member of the department, in this talk I will also briefly describe some of my past work as a community ecologist using stable isotopes to examine food web structure.

Monday 9 April 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - 12 April 2018

Wallace Coffee Talks - Spring 2018
12 April 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Mechanistic modelling of collective motion in animal groups

Bird flocks, fish schools, and herds of sheep being chased by sheepdogs are examples of systems that consists of many individuals that can somehow move and respond to external stimuli as one unit. How does that work? In this talk I will present some standard “answers” to this question, some recent results suggesting we may want to revise these “answers", and explain how work of this type may be useful to society.

Ana Carolina Luchiari (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)

Fish like us: how can fish help us to understand ourselves

I am a biologist and developed my MSc and PhD to answer how different environmental colors affect behavior and welfare in fish. For the past five years, I have been concerned with the development of novel behavioral testing tools (face validity) for the zebrafish, and with psychopharmacological approaches to study the mechanisms of alcohol abuse, and its effects on learning and memory (constructive and predictive validities). All psychoactive drugs are of interest when it can positively or negatively affect our brain. Currently, I am trying to understand individual differences in alcohol intake, transgenerational effects of alcohol on cognition, and the potential of alternative treatments for alcohol abuse.