Friday, 15 July 2016

Science Club Seminar Speakers 19th July 2016

Biosciences Science Club Series - Summer term 2016

19 July 2016 - 1pm - Zoology Museum (Wallace 129)

The Changing Landscape for Wildlife: Space Use, Biological Scales, and Predictive Ecology

Dr. Garrett Street

photo by Eleonor Yushtyina

This month Dr. Garrett Street, from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University (USA), will be visiting our University and has kindly agreed to give a talk on his current research. Garrett is a wildlife ecologist broadly interested in animal movements, landscape ecology, spatial modelling and wildlife and ecosystem management.

As landscapes change due to human land use and climate change, effective management and conservation requires attention to ecological phenomena occurring at multiple biological and spatiotemporal scales. Consideration of scale-dependency has produced a shift toward predictive ecology based on bottom-up and top-down phenomena. 

In this talk, I discuss the efficacy and utility of bottom-up approaches to predicting the distribution and abundance of wildlife across levels of biological organization from individuals to populations to biomes and global abundance. I emphasize both classical and modern statistical techniques for spatially explicit population estimation and discuss the role of wildlife not only as reactants to, but active contributors toward the function and stability of local ecosystems and the global biosphere.

Hope to see many of you - everyone is welcome!

Postgraduate Seminar Speakers 28th July 2016

Postgraduate Seminar Speakers 28th July 2016
1pm - Zoology Museum (Wallace 129)

S P E A K E R   1
Neither phytoplankton nor zooplankton: welcome to the mixotrophic world of marine plankton

Suzana G. Leles

Mixotrophy among marine protists (i.e., the combination of autotrophy and heterotrophy in a single cell) is not a new discovery but it was poorly investigated until 1980s. However, in reality, most protist plankton are neither strict non-phagotroph nor strict non-phototroph, but mixotrophs. This talk will focus on acquired phototrophy and will discuss the spatial and temporal distribution of these mixotrophs, highlighting the implications of not considering such complex nutrition within marine ecosystem models.   

S P E A K E R   2
Metabolite profiling of a robust cyanobacteria for industrial biotechnology

Bethan Kultschar

Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are photosynthetic prokaryotes; they produce an array of secondary metabolites which can be exploited as a sustainable source of useful compounds in industry. These metabolites can be monitored during growth and under different stress conditions using metabolomics. This utilises a variety of high resolution analytical techniques such as GC-MS, LC-MS, MALDI, HPLC and NMR to visualise these changes and to aid in the characterisation of the metabolome using online databases.


S P E A K E R   3
Temporary defences induced by Daphnia magna (Cladocera) in two green algae: Scenedesmus sp. and Chlorella sp.

Dania Albini

The ability to defend against grazers is a main driving force in phytoplankton evolutionary histories. This leads to trade-offs with other life-history traits, modifying eco-evolutionary dynamics. One well-known example is the chlorophyte Scenedesmus sp., which forms colonies when being grazed by the predator Daphnia. This morphological change allows Scenedesmus to increase its effective size to beyond the handling capacity of the grazers and thereby reduces its grazing mortality. The project involve the use of microcosms and modelling approaches to study inducible defence of green algae against grazers at the population and community levels, and metabolomics to characterise the chemical nature of the interactions and physiological changes in the organisms.