Tuesday 30 April 2019

Wallace Coffee Talks - 07 May 2019

Wallace Coffee Talks - Spring 2019 
07 May - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Priscila Fernandes (Swansea University, UK)
Zebrafish as a model for alcohol research
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has attracted scientific attention in recent years as a promising animal model for biomedical research, including alcohol research. The genetic similarity with humans, the small size, high fecundity and short time development are some of the practical advantages of this species. To be used as a translational model, the species must present similar phenotypical alterations to those of mammals (face validity), the mechanisms behind these alterations should also be similar (constructive validity) and the behavioural and physiological changes promoter (e.g. drugs) should have the same effects in the model and humans (predictive validity). Here, I will show few data demonstrating how zebrafish respond to alcohol and how this species can contribute for the understanding of alcohol effects.

Shaping sustainable aquaculture: variation in lumpfish body morphometry across populations and between the sexes
Commercial stocks of lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) are internationally transported and released onto salmon farms, from which they may escape and breed with native populations. Though there are known genetic differences between stocks, the level of phenotypic variation is largely unknown. In this talk, we assess the morphology of lumpfish from different geographic locations to evaluate the consequences of translocation practise in aquaculture. We also assess sexually dimorphic features in lumpfish, identifying traits which aquaculture could use to select individuals to form breeding programmes.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 25 April 2019

Biosciences Seminar Series - Spring 2019
25 April 2019 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Weaving worlds: Postcolonial and multispecies politics of plants

Dr Emily O’Gorman

(Macquarie University, Australia)

Photo by Emily O'Gorman

Our Biosciences Seminar Series continues for the spring term with a talk by Dr Emily O’Gorman from the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University in Australia. Emily is an environmental historian with interdisciplinary research interests in the environmental humanities, such as environmental histories of rivers and wetlands; and scientific approaches to weather and climate from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, have been important sites of political engagement and activism for many Aboriginal groups, who seek to care for Country, and strengthen their rights and roles in the management of water and particular sites. This paper engages with contemporary activities by Aboriginal women at three wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, as they use weaving of sedges and rushes to show both the importance of these places and in ongoing connections to Country that have persisted through British colonisation and up to now. Plants like sedges and rushes hold a postcolonial politics. They have played an important role in, and provide a lens into, the historical and ongoing connections of Aboriginal women with particular places, co-creating and interweaving worlds.  

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

Friday 12 April 2019

Biomath Colloquium 12/04/2019

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2018/19

12 April 2019 - 3pm Robert Recorde Room

(Computational Foundry, Bay Campus)

Applications of Hidden Markov Models in Ecology

Prof Byron Morgan

(School of StatisticsUniversity of Kent) 

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series resumes for the spring term with a seminar by Prof Byron Morgan, from the School of Statistics, University of Kent.  Byron is an Emeritus Professor of Statistics and Co-Director of the National Centre for Statistical Ecology (NCSE). He is broadly interested in Applied Statistics, biometry, and statistical ecology, ranging from stochastic models for molecular biology, parameter redundancy in ecological models, to applications of Bayesian methods and population dynamics.

Several standard models in common use in Statistical Ecology can be formulated in terms of hidden Markov Models (Zucchini et al, 2016). In this talk we summarise the essentials of hidden Markov modelling, including the forward algorithm, which provides the unifying structure for likelihood construction, and for efficient likelihood optimisation. Different applications require particular modifications, and this is shown through a range of illustrations, involving batch-marked animals in capture recapture, dynamic stochastic models for seasonal insect data, integrated population modelling, modelling population survey data and multi-species indicators.

Cowan , L., Besbeas, P. T., Morgan, B.J.T. and Schwarz, C. (2017) Hidden Markov models for extended batch data, Biometrics, 73, 1321-1331.

Besbeas, P. T. and Morgan, B.J.T. (2018) A general framework for modelling population survey data, in revision.

Besbeas, P. T. and Morgan, B.J.T. (2019) Exact inference for integrated population modeling, Biometrics, in press.

Zucchini, W., MacDonald, I. L. and Longrock, R. (2016) Hidden Markov Models for Time Series: An Introduction using R, Second Edition, Chapman & Hall, CRC press, Boca Raton.

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 11 April 2019

Biosciences Seminar Series - Spring 2019
11 April 2019 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Adaptation in a changing world: human influences on evolution

Dr Kiyoko Gotanda

Our Biosciences Seminar Series resumes for the spring term with a talk by Dr Kiyoko Gotanda from the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. Kiyoko is an evolutionary and behavioural ecologist, who works at the interface between ecology, evolution and behaviour, with a special interest in understanding the patterns and causes of the origin of biological diversity.

Evolutionary biology studies the origins of biodiversity, how it evolved and, importantly, how it is maintained. In today's world, patterns of selection (and therefore evolution) are being altered by humans, strongly influencing the generation and maintenance of biodiversity. Humans can alter evolution and adaptation through a variety of mechanisms. For example, the increase in urbanization (development of villages, towns, and cities) has a strong effect on ecological and evolutionary processes. Another example is the introduction of non-native predators, an impact known to be closely correlated with local extinction events. Here, I present examples of humans altering selective pressures, and what the consequences of this are.  

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

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here