University of St Andrews
 
 

School of Biology News Centre

item 158
[23-03-2009 to 30-04-2009]


News Item:
Scottish Funding Council approves MASTS

On Friday 20th March 2009, the Scottish Funding Council gave the final approval for the Marine Alliance for Science and technology Scotland (MASTS) to go ahead. MASTS is a £75 million research initiative to pool marine research capability across Scotland.

see here for further details
contact: Prof Ian Boyd


 

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  • CBD Seminar: Missing links in macroecology: the young and the small
    speaker: Sally Ann Keith ()

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

    After 200 years of scientific endeavor, the factors that drive species diversity and distributions on Earth remain unresolved. My research has identified two areas of limited understanding that if targeted could help fill in the story of the generation and maintenance of biodiversity patterns: (1) early life stages, and (2) biotic interactions. With new approaches and unique data, I am beginning to reveal the relative importance of these factors, using Indo-Pacific coral reefs as a model system. Here I present tests of the extent to which reproduction, establishment and competition can influence species distributions and diversity. From this work, it is clear that local processes and those that occur early in an organism’s life cycle, can influence the biogeographic patterns we see today, and that the next essential step for macroecology to progress as a discipline is to produce a framework that can link small scale processes to global biodiversity patterns.


    refID: 1713

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  • Preliminary results from a computational multi agent modelling approach to study humpback whale song cultural transmission
    speaker: Luca Lamoni (SMRU)

    building: SOI
    room: LT
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: ll42@st-andrews.ac.uk

    refID: 1688

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  • Bellhop, Bayes and Behaviour-- Using Passive Acoustics to asses Bottlenose Dolphin Behaviour on the Eastern Scottish Coast
    speaker: Kaitlin Palmer (SMRU)

    building: SOI
    room: LT
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: kp37@st-andrews.ac.uk

    refID: 1689

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  • SMRU data management
    speaker: Clint Blight and Matt Donnelly (SMRU and BODC)

    building: SOI
    room: LT
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    host/contact:

    refID: 1684

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: TBD
    speaker: Dr Vincent Dion (Center for Integrative Genomics, Lausanne, Switzerland)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Helder Ferreira

    refID: 1699

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  • CBD Seminar: Puncuated and gradual changes in speciation
    speaker: Patrik Nosil (University of Sheffield)

    building: Harold Mitchell
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

    Whether speciation is gradual or sudden remains debated. Darwin’s view of gradual speciation predicts slight changes in polygenic traits, genome-wide differentiation, and an interconnected speciation continuum. In contrast, modern theory predicts that speciation can be a more punctuated process involving genome re-arrangements, heterogeneous genomic differentiation, and ephemeral intermediate forms. I will present our recent theoretical and empirical work that helps to unify these extreme views.


    refID: 1719

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  • CBD Seminar: Far from the deafening crowd: The effects of noise pollution on songbirds
    speaker: John P. Swaddle (Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA)

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: maadd@st-andrews.ac.uk

    Humans are changing the environment at unprecedented rates, which can put intense ecological and evolutionary pressures on wildlife. One of the most prevalent yet relatively understudied forms of anthropogenic change is noise pollution. Here I will give an overview of the effects of noise pollution on birds, focusing on our group’s studies of zebra finches’ and eastern bluebirds’ communication strategies in the face of noisy conditions. These studies indicate that individual birds show substantial flexibility in their vocal strategies, but that withstanding noisy environmental conditions carries developmental and fitness costs. As noise imposes costs, I will also discuss our emerging line of research whereby we are deliberately deploying spatially-controlled “nets” of masking sound, which make it hard for birds to hear each other or predators, to displace nuisance birds from sites of economic importance—such as farms and airports, where birds can cause tremendous damages. Initial studies indicate we can decrease the presence of pest birds by more than 80% for prolonged periods of time while not harming the birds nor degrading surrounding habitat.

     

    John P. Swaddle Short Bio

    John Swaddle has been at the College of William & Mary since 2001 and is a professor of biology. He studies how human alterations of the environment impact wildlife and, in turn, how these changes affect human society. In a rapidly changing world, these multi- and interdisciplinary questions are increasingly important. John has been awarded several prizes by his international academic societies, such as the Young Investigator Prize by the American Society of Naturalists and the Most Outstanding New Investigator Prize by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. He’s also a previous Royal Society of London University Research Fellow and NERC postdoctoral fellow. He teaches courses in introductory biology, evolution, and environmental science. At William & Mary he has also served as the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and was the Director (Chair) of the interdisciplinary Environmental Science & Policy program. This year, John is on sabbatical at the Cornwall campus of the University of Exeter collaborating with colleagues in Centre for Ecology and Conservation.


    refID: 1716

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  • CBD Seminar:
    speaker: Prof. Dr. Christophe Boesch (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)

    building: Bute
    room:
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: maadd@st-andrews.ac.

    refID: 1720

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