University of St Andrews
 
 
Sea Mammal Research Unit

The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) provides impartial, independent and innovative science that has high relevance to society.

We carry out interdisciplinary research into the biology of marine mammals, train marine mammal scientists through undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and advise governments, non-governmental organizations and industry on conservation issues.


Events

  • SPECIAL CBD SEMINAR: Whither the Red Knot? Mapping and Modelling the Distribution of an Arctic shorebird at Landscape and Regional Scales
    speaker: Prof. Richard G. Lathrop (Rutgers University Ecological Preserve)

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact:

    The Western Atlantic population of Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa) has undergone dramatic declines in recent decades and conservation biologists have sought to improve knowledge about the species’ ecology in an effort to address these declines.  One major information gap has been the lack of good information to describe range and habitat use during the breeding season, when the species is distributed sparsely across the Canadian Arctic. Airborne radio-telemetry surveys and intensive field surveys were conducted across the central Canadian Arctic to locate breeding Red Knots and record characteristics of their nesting habitat. Maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt) and geographic information system (GIS) data on environmental characteristics were used to predict Red Knot habitat suitability at two spatial scales: of nesting site location suitability at the landscape scale across Southampton Island, and of breeding habitat suitability (i.e., both nesting and foraging habitat) at a broader, regional scale across the central Canadian Arctic. I will examine the relative influence of different environmental characteristics on the predictions of this model of habitat suitability, comment on the bias inherent in such efforts for a sparsely distributed and difficult-to-study species like the Red Knot, and discuss the implications of the results for conservation and future status assessments of other low density shorebird species.


    refID: 1761

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  • CBD Seminar:Landscape genetics of a North American songbird, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
    speaker: Rachael Adams (University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada)

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

    Understanding the influence of landscapes on the spatial distribution of genetic variation in species is necessary for their successful conservation and preservation.  Physical barriers (e.g. mountains, geographic distance) often restrict population connectivity and dispersal causing a reduction in gene flow and the occurrence of genetically isolated populations.  Dispersal barriers can also be non-physical (e.g. behaviour) and occur at smaller geographic scales (e.g. changes in vegetation). 

    Although birds have high dispersal potential, evidence suggests dispersal is restricted by barriers.  One major concern lies with the increasing susceptibility of birds to changes in the environment through land use change and subsequent habitat fragmentation. 

    Assessment of the geographical area or landscape is therefore critical when measuring gene flow and making inferences about barriers, as cryptic barriers may exist.  The black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is a common, resident songbird to North America whose range encompasses a number of dispersal barriers. 

    Here, microsatellite markers were used to assess allelic variation and population differentiation in this species, and consequently, a reduction in gene flow is evident at both large and small geographical scales.  Our sampling regime allowed us to test for breaks in the genetic structure and to determine whether the discontinuities identified correspond to changes in habitat, vegetation, physical barriers or other factors. 


    refID: 1770

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: A Chemical Biology Perspective on RNA-Binding Proteins and the 5' Cap
    speaker: Professor Dr Andrea Rentmeister (University of Muenster, Institute of Biochemistry, Germany)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Jens Tilsner

    refID: 1767

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  • Scientific Listening: Representing and exploring dynamic animal vocalisation soundscapes
    speaker: Dr Ann Warde (University of York)

    building: SOI
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Mr Joe Onoufriou

    refID: 1738

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: In-cell EPR spectroscopy of membrane transporters in E. coli
    speaker: Dr Benesh Joseph (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Frankfurt)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: bab2

    refID: 1732

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  • CBD Seminar
    speaker: Keith Bennett ()

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact:

    refID: 1758

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: Metabolic Vulnerabilities of Cancer
    speaker: Professor Eyal Gottlieb (Head of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Prof Terry Smith

    refID: 1768

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  • CBD Seminar
    speaker: Claire Garrigue ()

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details
    host/contact:

    refID: 1760

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: Cytomegalovirus: a tale of corruption and evasion
    speaker: Professor Gavin Wilkinson (Cardiff University, Institute of Infection and Immunity)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Michael M Nevels

    refID: 1769

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