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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Seminar series

The Biosciences department runs two seminar series: Departmental seminars that cover a wide range of biological topics, and EEE seminars that cover topics related to Ecology, Evolution and Environment. Please scroll down to find information about these seminars and also recordings of some of the previous talks.


Departmental Seminars

Departmental Seminars are held during term time, on Thursdays from 13.00 - 14.00, currently via Zoom. All undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff are encouraged to attend the talks and are welcome to join afterwards for less formal discussions after the seminar. If you would like more time to talk with the speaker, please contact the host listed for that seminar. Recognising that our audience is likely to be broad, speakers have been asked to make their talks accessible, focusing a substantial part of their material on general issues and background to their work. If you have suggestions for additional speakers or would like to know more about the program, please email:

To attend a seminar, please register by clicking here. You will only need to register once, and it will allow you to attend all seminars in the series. You will receive an email with a Zoom link that you will need to click in order to join a seminar.

Convergence of cell polarity mechanisms across multicellular kingdoms

5th November 2020, 13:00, Via Zoom, Dr Dolf Weijers, University of Wageningen, Netherlands

Host: Dr Moumita Srivastava

About the speaker: Dr Dolf Weijers is a Professor in the department of Biochemistry in the University of Wageningen, Netherlands. His group works on plant embryogenesis and plant development. Cell divisions in the plants are quite predictable, and positions of cell types are almost invariant. However, very little is known about the mechanisms that specify the individual cell, or how cells communicate to form an ordered pattern. Prof. Weijers’ group focuses on the study of mechanisms by which key proteins regulate these processes. To know more about him, you can visit

Convergence of cell polarity mechanisms across multicellular kingdoms

Cells in multicellular organisms organise along body and tissue axes. Cellular processes, such as division plane orientation, must be aligned with these polarity axes to generate functional 3-dimensional morphology, particularly in plants, where cell walls prevent cell migration. While some polarly localized plant proteins are known, molecular mechanisms of polarity establishment or its translation to division orientation are elusive, in part because regulators in animals and fungi appear to be missing from plant genomes. Cell polarity is first established in the embryo, but this has long been an intractable experimental model. In the past years, genetic and imaging tools have been developed that allow using the early Arabidopsis embryo as a model for understanding the mechanisms that drive cell polarity and oriented cell divisions, I will present our recent work, focusing on the identification of a novel, deeply conserved polarity system.

Contact for more information about this event.

Ecology, Evolution and Environment (EEE) seminar series

These seminars will take place online via Zoom, and the joining links have been emailed to all Biosciences students and staff. Links to recorded seminars will be also posted here after each seminar. If you have any questions, please contact the EEE seminar organiser Dr Jonathan Drury (

13 October, 12 PM: Dr Richard Fuller (The University of Queensland, Australia), “Experiencing nature in a post-biodiversity world”

27 October, 4PM: Dr Jenn Baltzer (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada), “Fire and the decline of fire-adapted black spruce in the boreal forest”

10 November, 4PM: Dr Yann Bourgeois (University of Portsmouth, UK), “A population genomics perspective on transposable elements dynamics”

24 November, 4PM: Dr Yusan Yang (Washington University, USA), “Color polymorphism, divergent mating behavior, and the evolution of reproductive isolation”

8 December, 12PM: Dr Annette Fayet (University of Oxford, UK), “Drivers of seabird migration movements and their fitness consequences”

Seminar recordings

8th October 2020, Dr Rich Roberts, "Bacterial Methylomes":

13th October 2020: Dr Richard Fuller, “Experiencing nature in a post-biodiversity world” :

15th October 2020, Dr Vivek Nityananda, "Stereo vision and prey detection in the praying mantis":

22nd October 2020, Dr Rashmi Sasidharan, "Life aquatic: signalling networks mediating flooding stress survival":