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Gee Research Blog

PREDICTS Project: Land-Use Change Doesn’t Impact All Biodiversity Equally

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:17:53 +0000

Humans are destroying, degrading and depleting our tropical forests at an alarming rate. Every minute, an area of Amazonian rainforest equivalent to 50 football pitches is cleared of its trees, vegetation and wildlife. Across the globe, tropical and sub-tropical forests are being cut down to make way for expanding towns and cities, for agricultural land […]

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Calculated Risks: Foraging and Predator Avoidance in Rodents

Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:07:08 +0000

Finding food is one of the most important tasks for any animal – most animal activity is focused on this job. But finding food usually involves some risks – leaving the safety of your burrow or nest to go out into a dangerous world full of predators, disease and natural hazards. Animals should therefore be […]

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Foraging and Predator Avoidance in Rodents
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Applying Metabolic Scaling Laws to Predicting Extinction Risk

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 10:32:49 +0000

The Earth is warming. That much were are now certain of. A major challenge for scientists hoping to ameliorate the effect of this on biodiversity is to predict how temperature increases will affect populations. Predicting the responses of species living in complex ecosystems and heterogenous environments is a difficult task, but one starting point is […]

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The Importance of Size in the Evolution of Complexity in Ants

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:14:37 +0000

Ants are amongst the most abundant and successful species on Earth. They live in complex, cooperative societies, construct elaborate homes and exhibit many of the hallmarks of our own society. Some ants farm crops, others tend livestock. Many species have a major impact on the ecosystems they live in, dispersing seeds, consuming huge quantities of […]

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Understanding Catfish Colonisation and Diversification in The Great African Lakes

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:29:42 +0000

Why some regions or habitats contain vast, diverse communities of species, whilst others contain only relatively few species, continues to be the subject of scientific research attempting to understand the processes and conditions that allow and adaptive radiation. The Great African Lakes exist as freshwater ‘islands’, with spectacularly high levels of biodiversity and endemism. They […]

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Ursula Mittwoch celebrates her 90th with colleagues, past and present

27 March 2014

Ursula Mittwoch 90th - Group PhotoUrsula Mittwoch & Steve JonesUrsula Mittwoch & Nick Lane

Professor Ursula Mittwoch, possibly one of UCL's longest standing associates, celebrated her 90th birthday with friends and colleagues from GEE, from the former Galton Laboratory and from the wider-UCL academic community.

As a PhD student in 1947, Ursula worked under Hans Kalmus, progressing to collaborate with Bette Robson and Harry Harris in the Galton Laboratory, and is well known for her work on sex determination and differentiation. After about 40 years researching human genetics, Ursula retired from paid employment in UCL in about 1990.  This didn’t stop her publishing and her latest paper (EMBO Reports 14, 588-592) was published in 2013.  Not only the oldest, Ursula is also the most reliable member of GEE, who rarely misses the weekly departmental coffee mornings.

Ursula has in recent years developed a strong interest in mitochondrial research and it was with great pleasure that Nick Lane was able to present her with a framed artwork on silk ‘Mitochondria in Action’ by Odra Noel.

John Allen, who met Ursula while he was a visiting professor in the department, pays tribute to Ursula in his blog citing from Ursula’s birthday speech ‘be kind to colleagues’.

Ursula Mittwoch, Sue Povey, Dallaw Swallow, Nick Lane, John Allen

(Main group photo:  Back row from left to right Yvonne Edwards, David Hopkinson, Andrew Pomiankowski, Dallas Swallow, John Allen, Debs Furness, John Linden.  Front row from left to right:  Edith Weiner, Sue Povey, June Rathbone, Ursula Mittwoch, Steve Jones, Ruth Dar, David Ridge, Nick Lane

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