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.

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



27 Jan 2015
CBD Seminar Series: Understanding why migrant birds are declining

Dr Will Cresswell (University of St Andrews, Centre for Biological Diversity)
Dyers Brae Seminar Room, Harold Mitchell: 1:00 PM, 27 Jan 2015

One third of European breeding bird species winter in Africa and most of these species are showing declines in the breeding populations relative to species that do not migrate. The suggestion is clearly that some aspect of migration or wintering ecology is contributing to the decline of migrants. I will discuss what we know and what we don’t know about migrant ecology and in particular their connectivity (linkage between breeding and wintering areas) and site fidelity (reuse of wintering sites). From what we do know, these aspects suggest that variation in the population dynamics of any migrant species is inevitable because they are pre-adapted to climate change, but this actually leads to population resilience. These pre-adaptions to climate change, however, make them more susceptible to anthropogenic habitat change leading to overall lower population resilience and the observed declines.

All welcome!

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29 Jan 2015
SOI seminar: Osmolytes and osmoregulation in euryhaline teleosts AND Field measurements of the detection function of Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) using passive acoustics

Clare Degan AND Kalliopi-Charitomeni (Popi) Gkikopoulou (St Andrews University)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 29 Jan 2015
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29 Jan 2015
Environmental Change Research Group Seminar Series: The largest peatland complex in Amazonia: carbon, vegetation and long-term ecosystem dynamics

Freddie Draper (University of Leeds)
Seminar Room 310, Irvine Building: 1:00 PM, 29 Jan 2015

Freddie Draper is a 3rd year PhD student from the University of Leeds.
The Pastaza Marañon foreland basin in North-east Peru has recently been found to harbour extensive peatlands that are known to store large quantities of carbon and contain a diverse range of ecosystem types. However, much uncertainty remains regarding the quantity of carbon stored within the basin, and very little is known of the vegetation found in the peatlands. In this seminar I will present two things: Firstly, a new quantification of the peatland above- and below-ground carbon stock that uses a novel data fusion approach, encompassing both optical and radar remote sensing products alongside extensive field measurements. Secondly, I will present contemporary and historical vegetation (pollen) data from over 80 forest plots and four peat cores, providing new insights into vegetation dynamics through both space and time in these peatland ecosystems.
If you are interested in the carbon part of this work, you can find more information here:
The part about contemporary and historical vegetation is new and exciting and not yet published… so you’ll have to come along and hear about it!

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04 Feb 2015
BSRC Seminar Series: On growth and proliferation - growth control in animal cells

Dr. Mikael Björklund (University of Dundee, College of Life Sciences)
Lecture Theatre, BMS: 1:00 PM, 04 Feb 2015
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06 Feb 2015
BSRC Seminar Series: Antimicrobial Resistance - a threat to humanity

Professor Dame Sally Davies, FMedSci, DBE, FRS (UK Chief Medical Officer)
Lecture Theatre, MBS: 1:00 PM, 06 Feb 2015
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10 Feb 2015
Biology Athena Swan Committee

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Seminar Room, Harold Mitchell: 1:30 PM, 10 Feb 2015
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18 Feb 2015
Biology Management Group

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Room 4.14, BMS: 2:00 PM, 18 Feb 2015
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19 Feb 2015
SOI seminar: The perception of hydrodynamic stimuli

Dr Wolf Hanke (University of Rostock)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 19 Feb 2015
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20 Feb 2015
SOI seminar: Sleepers creepers? Evidence of Pacific sleeper shark predation on Steller sea lions and implications for Alaskan fisheries

Dr Markus Horning (Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 20 Feb 2015

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26 Feb 2015
SOI seminar: Why do penguins inhale before dives?

Prof Katsufumi Sato (Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 26 Feb 2015
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05 Mar 2015
SOI seminar: Using data-driven models to identify drivers of sea louse infestations on wild and farmed salmon

Prof Crawford Revie and Dr Maya Groner (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 05 Mar 2015

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11 Mar 2015
Biology Management Group

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Room 4.14, BMS: 9:30 AM, 11 Mar 2015
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12 Mar 2015
SOI seminar: Comparative diving eco-physiology: a tool to assess environmental change

Dr Andreas Fahlman (Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, USA)
Gatty Lecture Theatre, SOI: 1:00 PM, 12 Mar 2015

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18 Mar 2015
BSRC Seminar Series: Fragment-based drug discovery- a decade of thinking small

Dr Harren Jhoti (Astex Pharmaceuticals)
Lecture Theatre, BMS: 1:00 PM, 18 Mar 2015
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