Outreach – St Leonards School Field Trip

Dr Andrew Blight gave a guest lecture to year 9 pupils from St Leonards School who were carrying out a geography field trip to learn fieldwork skills in coastal landscapes. Andy introduced some of the key principles of how the physical environment structures the biological communities on rocky, sandy and estuarine shores. He also introduced some of the research currently underway in the SERG lab and how the biological communities can in turn structure the physical habitat.

NEW POST – Research Technician

NEW POST – Research Technician to support SERG and the John Templeton Foundation funded project – niche construction and evolutionary diversity in experimental communities

An exciting opportunity is available for a motivated candidate to support the work of the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) as part of a major multinational, interdisciplinary research consortium.

We are seeking a versatile and computer literate candidate with good field and laboratory skills relevant to benthic ecology. We expect to attract a motivated worker with the initiative to handle fieldwork and accepting some travel and the unsociable hours (tidal cycles) that are occasionally required. The candidate will be based in the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) at the University of St Andrews under the main supervision of Dr Adam Wyness and Prof. David M. Paterson. The main purpose of the role is to support the design and running of experiments using laboratory benthic mesocosms, flume system and fieldwork. Incubation of bacteria, diatoms and handling of benthic infauna will be required but training can be given.

Two year position starting May 2017 Informal enquiries to: Prof David M. Paterson (d.paterson@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Congratulations Dr Wyness

Congratulations to Adam Wyness for his successfully defended thesis entitled “The influence of sediment characteristics on the abundance and distribution of E. coli in estuarine sediments”.

Well done Adam!

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“Putting the extended evolutionary synthesis to the test”

Kevin Laland on receiving a £5.7m three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation for the project “Putting the extended evolutionary synthesis to the test”.

The grant, which is led by the University of St Andrews, will fund 22 linked research projects to be carried out by an international team of 50 experts at eight universities, including Cambridge, Stanford, Lund, Indiana, Southampton, Clark, and the Santa Fe Institute.

Project PIs also include David Paterson, Graeme Ruxton, Maria Dornelas and Andy Gardner, whose projects will explore a variety of evolutionary and ecological questions, focused on to what extent developmental plasticity and niche construction can account for evolutionary diversity and complexity.

Congratulations to Adam Wyness

Congratulations to Adam Wyness who won not only the poster award for his section but also the overall poster award for the Society for General Microbiology conference in Galway this month. According to the organisers, the judges were very impressed with his work and poster. This was particularly impressive given this was one of the largest branch meetings ever and the competition was extremely high.