Biosciences Events

CDB Seminar Series - Professor Benedikt Berninger - 19 July 2018

Title: "Engineering neurogenesis for the postnatal brain”
Speaker: Professor Benedikt Berninger - Institute of Physiological Chemistry of the University Medical Centerof the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (lab page)
Venue: G29, JZ Young LT, Anatomy Building (map)
Host: Dr Richard Poole (email)
Abstract: We explore the possibilities of generating new neurons where natural neurogenesis has ceased to occur, such as the postnatal or adult cerebral cortex. The approach we have taken is of lineage reprogramming glia or other brain-resident cells into induced neurons.  Toward this end, we force the expression of developmentally relevant transcription factors to induce a neurogenic program. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts (1) to induce neurogenesis from glial cells in the postnatal mouse cortex in vivo, and (2) to decipher the molecular and cellular trajectory of adult human brain pericytes undergoing conversion into neurons.

Starts: Jul 19, 2018 1:00:00 PM

CBER Research Talk - Dr Ikechukwu Eugene Onah - 23 July 2018

Title: Integrative taxonomy: approach to documenting bees and Polistine wasps of Nigeria
Speaker: Dr Ikechukwu Eugene Onah - Lecturer I in Entomology, Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria Nsukka (research profile)
Host: Dr Seirian Sumner (email)
To be confirmed
Abstract: Globally, biodiversity is declining as a result of habitat degradation and this could lead to extinction of some species before they are discovered. My research employs integrative taxonomy to reliably identify and document bees and Polistine wasps of Nigeria, about which hardly anything is known. Comprehensive data on these ecosystem servicers are lacking and this is an impediment to effective conservation and harnessing of the natural capital that these species offer.  It is hoped that availability of these data will in addition enable other applied biologists to further studies on these important, but largely overlooked, species.

Starts: Jul 23, 2018 1:00:00 PM

CBER Research Talk - Jess Williams - 6 August 2018

Title: Local climatic changes influence biodiversity responses to land use
Speaker: Jessica J Williams - PhD student (personal page)
Venue: G01 Lankester LT, Medawar Building (map)
Abstract: Rapid human population growth has resulted in increasing exploitation of the environment and conversion of land for human use. These changes in land use can alter land cover, which mediates local climatic conditions and in turn may influence community composition. In human-altered landscapes, sites are generally hotter and drier than in natural habitats. By using the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) database, we analysed, for the first time globally, whether human land uses and land-use intensification systematically favour species with certain climatic niches. We found that communities within human-dominated land uses were, on average, composed of species affiliated with warmer and drier climates relative to communities within primary vegetation. In addition, community-average thermal niche breadths were found to be wider in human-altered land uses. The size of these effects differed between geographic zones as well as between endothermic and ectothermic communities. These results enhance our understanding of how biodiversity responds to land-use change, which will help us to predict species’ responses to future land-use changes and to design suitable management and conservation strategies.

Starts: Aug 6, 2018 1:00:00 PM