University of St Andrews
 
 
Sea Mammal Research Unit

SMRU News Centre

item 744
[27-11-2011 to 31-01-2012]


News Item:
SMRU Awarded Queen's Anniversary Prize

The University of St Andrews has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of the work of a world-leading research unit which is helping to further understanding and protection of the oceans.

The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews is among the winners in the Diamond Jubilee Round of The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education.

The Anniversary Prizes, which recognise excellence in higher education and research, were announced at a reception at St James Palace, London, on Thursday 24 November 2011.

The Sea Mammal Research Unit has become a world leader in applied research promoting best practice in the health and governance of the ocean environment.  Based at the East Sands, St Andrews, the Unit is part of the University’s School of Biology and Scottish Oceans Institute. It operates from the tropics to the poles and maintains a particular focus on the UK’s seas.  Its academic staff and graduate team specialise in research on marine mammals - primarily seals, whales and dolphins – using innovative monitoring techniques.

The sea mammals which SMRU monitor provide a unique and sensitive early warning system to track and measure a range of factors concerned with the sustainability of human exploitation of the seas. 

With the scale and nature of industrial exploitation of the oceans rapidly developing, there is increasing demand for and impact of SMRU’s services, and its contribution to national policies.

Professor Ian Boyd, Director of the Unit, and University Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell, were at St James Palace to hear the announcement. Professor Boyd said:

“Marine mammals are a bit like the canary in the cage. If we know how to read their behaviour and populations we can minimise the effect of our resource exploitation on the ocean. Although we need to exploit the ocean we also need to find ways of doing this sustainably. Marine mammals have a capacity to tell us when we are reaching the limits.

“My colleagues and I are delighted that our institution has been recognised in this way. It is truly a privilege to work with such magnificent animals and to have the job of translating their importance into information that the public can use. We also recognise that the institute is a hub in a global network of scientists and collaborators who share our passion for understanding these enigmatic creatures.”

Full Press Release

More about the Queen's Anniversary Prizes

contact: Prof Ian Boyd


 

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  • SOI seminar: From local habitat to global climate change: the scale of influences on the ecology of coastal marine communities.
    speaker: Prof Michael Burrows (SAMS - The Scottish Association for Marine Science)

    building: SOI
    room: Gatty Lecture theatre
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    host/contact: Prof Ian Johnston

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    speaker: Professor Keith Bennett (Queens University Belfast)

    building: Irvine Building
    room: Forbes Room (room 409)
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    host/contact: khr

    Keith Bennett has been Professor of Late-Quaternary Environmental Change
    at Queen’s University Belfast since 2007, following eight years as
    Professor of Quaternary Geology at Uppsala University. He has been
    working on the spread of trees on continental scales for many years,
    with fieldwork experience across the world. He is interested in all
    aspects of the interplay of evolutionary and ecological factors in
    controlling the distribution of organisms, using ancient DNA and pollen
    data. He received a Royal Society - Wolfson Research Merit Award in
    2007, and was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2011.


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  • I-POWER Lecture Series: Evolution: the Quaternary tale
    speaker: Professor Keith Bennett (Queens University Belfast)

    building: Other
    room: United College, School 1
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    host/contact: khr

    This lecture series and will be followed by a reception in room 310 of the Irvine Building.

    Timing: 3-4.30pm, Thursday 27th November 2014
    Place: School 1 lecture theatre

    Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has led to a theory of evolution with
    a mass of empirical detail on population genetics below species level,
    together with heated debate on the details of macroevolutionary patterns
    above species level. Most of the main principles are clear and generally
    accepted, notably that life originated once and has evolved over time by
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    However, the last two million years (Quaternary period) have been a
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    The fossil and molecular phylogenetic records of the response of life on
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    increase and shows, continuously, discrepancies between genetic and
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    frequency changes of the Quaternary have surprisingly little impact on
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    Biography: Keith Bennett has been Professor of Late-Quaternary Environmental Change
    at Queen’s University Belfast since 2007, following eight years as
    Professor of Quaternary Geology at Uppsala University. He has been
    working on the spread of trees on continental scales for many years,
    with fieldwork experience across the world. He is interested in all
    aspects of the interplay of evolutionary and ecological factors in
    controlling the distribution of organisms, using ancient DNA and pollen
    data. He received a Royal Society - Wolfson Research Merit Award in
    2007, and was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2011.
     


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  • PhD Research Student Lunchtime Chat: How Grants and Fellowships are Reviewed
    speaker: Prof Mike Ritchie (University of St Andrews, Centre for Biological Diversity)

    building: Harold Mitchell
    room: Dyers Brae seminar room 2
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    host/contact: Mrs Joyce Haynes

    All postgraduate students in the School of Biology are invited to attend.
    Although attendance is not compulsory, a register of attendance will be taken to monitor the uptake of sessions and supervisors are encouraged to allow their students to attend.


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  • BSRC Seminar Series: High-throughput decoding of drug-resistance and virulence mechanisms in African trypanosomes
    speaker: Prof. David Horn (College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee)

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    room: Lecture Theatre
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    host/contact: Prof Terry Smith

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  • Linux for Genomics Course at the University of Edinburgh
    speaker: (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Genomics)

    building: Other
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    host/contact: Dr Daniel Barker

    LINUX FOR GENOMICS COURSE
    Wednesday 21 January 2015, 09:00 - 17:00, University of Edinburgh

    This 1-day workshop is specifically aimed at people without any command-line experience.

    The following topics will be covered: - Introduction to Linux - Getting out of trouble - File system - File manipulation - Accessing files - Pipes and redirects - Filtering / manipulating file content - Shell scripts - Process management - BEDTools - bioawk - seqtk - SAMtools - tabix

    More information about this workshop, including how to register, can be found at here.

    Daniel Barker


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