Research in Biological Science

Research in the School is organised into three major interdisciplinary centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules to planetary environmental dynamics.

BSRC
Biomedical Sciences Research Complex
World class innovative multi-disciplinary research focussed on the broad theme of infection and immunity
CBD
Centre for Biological Diversity
Advancing science that underpins the diversity of life
SOI
Scottish Oceans Institute
A key focus for research excellence in marine-related science

 

Events:

25 Nov 2014
Distinguished Lecture Series: Systems Biology: Morphisms of Reaction Networks that Couple Structure to Function

Luca Cardelli (Microsoft Research and University of Oxford)
Lower College Hall, Other: 9:30 AM, 25 Nov 2014

The mech­an­isms under­ly­ing com­plex bio­lo­gical sys­tems are routinely rep­res­en­ted as net­works. Net­work kin­et­ics is widely stud­ied, and so is the con­nec­tion between net­work struc­ture and beha­vior. But it is the rela­tion­ships between net­work struc­tures that can reveal sim­il­ar­ity of mechanism.

We define morph­isms (map­pings) between reac­tion net­works that estab­lish struc­tural con­nec­tions between them. Some morph­isms imply kin­etic sim­il­ar­ity, and yet their prop­er­ties can be checked stat­ic­ally on the struc­ture of the net­works. In par­tic­u­lar we can determ­ine stat­ic­ally that a com­plex net­work will emu­late a sim­pler net­work: it will repro­duce its kin­et­ics for all cor­res­pond­ing choices of reac­tion rates and ini­tial con­di­tions. We use this prop­erty to relate the kin­et­ics of many com­mon bio­lo­gical net­works of dif­fer­ent sizes, also relat­ing them to a fun­da­mental pop­u­la­tion algorithm. Thus, struc­tural sim­il­ar­ity between reac­tion net­works can be revealed by net­work morph­isms, elu­cid­at­ing mech­an­istic and func­tional aspects of com­plex net­works in terms of sim­pler networks.

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25 Nov 2014
CBD Seminar Series: Evolutionary ecology of life-histories in the wild: from polyandry to migration

Prof Jane Reid (University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences)
Dyers Brae Seminar Room, Harold Mitchell: 1:00 PM, 25 Nov 2014

Overarching objectives in evolutionary ecology are to understand the genetic and environmental causes of variation in life-history among individual population members, and to understand the consequences of such variation for population dynamics and persistence. The causes of variation in reproductive strategies, dispersal and migration are of particular interest, because these life-history components shape the dynamics of alleles and individual organisms in time and space.
 
In her talk, Prof Reid will illustrate how she use long-term studies of wild bird populations to quantify the causes and consequences of individual variation in reproductive and movement strategies. First, she will use quantitative genetic approaches to estimate genetic (co)variances underlying extra-pair reproduction in song sparrows, thereby quantifying forces that might maintain female multiple mating (polyandry). Second, she will illustrate relationships between migration, reproductive success and survival in European shags, thereby investigating the processes that might maintain variation in migration strategy.

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26 Nov 2014
10th Scottish Chromatin Group Meeting at University of Edinburgh

Various ( )
Lecture Theatre G10, Ground Floor, Darwin Building, Other: 1:30 PM, 26 Nov 2014

Scottish Chromatin Group Meeting
Rm G10, Darwin Building, King's Buildings, Edinburgh
26th November 2014


The next Scottish Chromatin Group Meeting is on Wednesday 26th November. We will provide coffee and biscuits during the afternoon and there will be drinks afterwards. If you arrive early there is lunch available in the Swann building canteen (on 7th floor).

Some people have mentioned that my emails are not being widely distributed (possibly due to email list restrictions), so please forward the email across you lab / department.

10th Scottish Chromatin Group meeting
Wed 26th November 2014
Lecture Theatre G10, Ground Floor, Darwin Building, King’s Buildings, University of Edinburgh

Programme
1.30      Shaun Cowley (University of Leicester)
Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) 1 and 2 are essential for pluripotency and cell division in mouse embryonic stem cells
2.10      Steven Pollard (University of Edinburgh)
Epigenetic programming and reprogramming of glioblastoma stem cells
2.40      Nicola Wiechens (University of Dundee)
Chromatin Remodelling at Boundary Elements
3.10      Coffee
3.50      Taranjit Singh Rai (University of the West of Scotland)
Histone chaperone HIRA orchestrates a dynamic chromatin landscape in senescence and is required for suppression of neoplasia
4.20      Jessica Downs (University of Sussex)
Chromatin remodelling enzymes and the DNA damage response
5.00      Drinks

We are updating our mailing list; if there are new people in your group please let us know.
 
Best wishes
Adam West (The University of Glasgow)
Nick Gilbert (The University of Edinburgh)
Andrew Wood (The University of Edinburgh)
 
Online: www.chromatingroup.org
Twitter: @chromatingroup  #epigenetics
 
Nick Gilbert, Professor of Chromatin Biology
MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
The University of Edinburgh
 
Telephone +44 (0) 131 332 2471 x2414, Fax +44 (0) 131 467 8456, Nick.Gilbert@ed.ac.uk
www.chromatinlab.org @chromatinlab

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27 Nov 2014
SOI seminar: From local habitat to global climate change: the scale of influences on the ecology of coastal marine communities.

Prof Michael Burrows (SAMS - The Scottish Association for Marine Science)
Gatty Lecture theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 27 Nov 2014
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27 Nov 2014
Environmental Change Research Group: Bogs and woodlands at the uttermost part of the Earth

Professor Keith Bennett (Queens University Belfast)
Forbes Room (room 409), Irvine Building: 1:00 PM, 27 Nov 2014

Keith Bennett has been Professor of Late-Quaternary Environmental Change
at Queen’s University Belfast since 2007, following eight years as
Professor of Quaternary Geology at Uppsala University. He has been
working on the spread of trees on continental scales for many years,
with fieldwork experience across the world. He is interested in all
aspects of the interplay of evolutionary and ecological factors in
controlling the distribution of organisms, using ancient DNA and pollen
data. He received a Royal Society - Wolfson Research Merit Award in
2007, and was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2011.

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27 Nov 2014
I-POWER Lecture Series: Evolution: the Quaternary tale

Professor Keith Bennett (Queens University Belfast)
United College, School 1, Other: 3:00 PM, 27 Nov 2014

This lecture series and will be followed by a reception in room 310 of the Irvine Building.

Timing: 3-4.30pm, Thursday 27th November 2014
Place: School 1 lecture theatre

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has led to a theory of evolution with
a mass of empirical detail on population genetics below species level,
together with heated debate on the details of macroevolutionary patterns
above species level. Most of the main principles are clear and generally
accepted, notably that life originated once and has evolved over time by
descent with modification.
However, the last two million years (Quaternary period) have been a
period of especially high amplitude environmental change across the
Earth, culminating in continental-scale glaciation in the northern
hemisphere. The periodicity of this change is much higher frequency
(20-40[-100] thousand years) than the intervals between lineage splits
for most multicellular taxa (often millions of years or longer), and
much higher amplitude than earlier in Earth history. Yet environmental
change of the Quaternary is typical used to 'explain' speciation events
and higher order lineage splits.
The fossil and molecular phylogenetic records of the response of life on
Earth to Quaternary climatic changes indicate that the evolution of
diversity can best understood in terms of nonlinear dynamics of the
relationship between genotype and phenotype, and between climate and
environments. The Earth’s biodiversity is in a state of continuous
increase and shows, continuously, discrepancies between genetic and
morphological data in time and space. The high amplitude and high
frequency changes of the Quaternary have surprisingly little impact on
this pattern.

Biography: Keith Bennett has been Professor of Late-Quaternary Environmental Change
at Queen’s University Belfast since 2007, following eight years as
Professor of Quaternary Geology at Uppsala University. He has been
working on the spread of trees on continental scales for many years,
with fieldwork experience across the world. He is interested in all
aspects of the interplay of evolutionary and ecological factors in
controlling the distribution of organisms, using ancient DNA and pollen
data. He received a Royal Society - Wolfson Research Merit Award in
2007, and was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2011.
 

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01 Dec 2014
PhD Research Student Lunchtime Chat: How Grants and Fellowships are Reviewed

Prof Mike Ritchie (University of St Andrews, Centre for Biological Diversity)
Dyers Brae seminar room 2, Harold Mitchell: 1:00 PM, 01 Dec 2014

All postgraduate students in the School of Biology are invited to attend.
Although attendance is not compulsory, a register of attendance will be taken to monitor the uptake of sessions and supervisors are encouraged to allow their students to attend.

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03 Dec 2014
BSRC Seminar Series: High-throughput decoding of drug-resistance and virulence mechanisms in African trypanosomes

Prof. David Horn (College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee)
Lecture Theatre, BMS: 1:00 PM, 03 Dec 2014
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04 Dec 2014
SOI seminar: TBA

Lucia Martina Martin Lopez ( )
Gatty Lecture theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 04 Dec 2014
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21 Jan 2015
Linux for Genomics Course at the University of Edinburgh

(University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Genomics)
, Other: 9:00 AM, 21 Jan 2015

LINUX FOR GENOMICS COURSE
Wednesday 21 January 2015, 09:00 - 17:00, University of Edinburgh

This 1-day workshop is specifically aimed at people without any command-line experience.

The following topics will be covered: - Introduction to Linux - Getting out of trouble - File system - File manipulation - Accessing files - Pipes and redirects - Filtering / manipulating file content - Shell scripts - Process management - BEDTools - bioawk - seqtk - SAMtools - tabix

More information about this workshop, including how to register, can be found at here.

Daniel Barker

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