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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 use this link and make sure you are logged into Zoom with your Durham account (no registration is required any more): .

A deep-time perspective on macroecology

21st January 2021, 13:00, via Zoom, Dr Erin Saupe, Oxford University, UK

Host: Jonathan Drury

About the speaker: Dr Erin Saupe is an Associate Professor in Palaeobiology at Oxford University. Her research, which stands at the interface of macroevolution, biogeography, and palaeontology, develops and deploys computational tools that have provided novel insights into key evolutionary processes such as the formation of latitudinal biodiversity gradients. For her important contributions, Erin was recently awarded the Palaeontology Association's Hodson Award.


My talk will integrate paleontological and neontological data to disentangle some of the long-term ecological and evolutionary responses of species to environmental change. More specifically, I will discuss some of my recent empirical and simulation research that examines (1) the causal mechanisms responsible for the latitudinal diversity gradient; (2) the role of palaeogeography in regulating extinction magnitudes; and (3) the degree to which competition structures species’ geographic ranges. These studies provide a bottom-up perspective on the generation and maintenance of biodiversity under climate change, and they enhance our understanding of the interaction of species’ intrinsic macroecological characteristics with a dynamic extrinsic climate.

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 (

12 January, 4pm: Prof Steve Lindsay (Durham University) “Blowin’ in the wind: how malaria mosquitoes find you.”

26 January, 4pm: Dr Tom Finch (RSPB) Conservation trade-offs: Reconciling food production, wild spaces and farmland wildlife”

9 February, 12pm : Dr Elodie Mandel-Briefer (University of Copenhagen) “Cross-species vocal expression and perception of emotions”

23 February, 12pm: Dr Renske Onstein (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research [iDiv]) “Co-evolutionary dynamics between fruits and frugivores: insights from a keystone tropical plant family (palms, Arecaceae)”

9 March, 4pm: Dr Marjorie Weber (Michigan State University) “Linking ecology and macroevolution using plant-animal mutualisms”

27 April, 12pm: Dr Patrick Green (University of Exeter) “Integrating biomechanics, physiology, and behaviour to understand assessment in animal contests”

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":

27th October 2020, Dr Jenn Baltzer, “Fire and the decline of fire-adapted black spruce in the boreal forest”:

29th October 2020, Dr Josef Uyeda, "The measurement of macroevolutionary causes":

5th November 2020, Dr Dolf Weijers, "Convergence of cell polarity mechanisms across multicellular kingdoms":

10 November 2020, Dr Yann Bourgeois, “A population genomics perspective on transposable elements dynamics”:

19 November 2020, Dr Nahid Ali, "Managing Leishmania donovani infection through immunobiological approaches for innovative diagnosis, prevention and cure":

24 November 2020, Dr Yusan Yang, “Color polymorphism, divergent mating behavior, and the evolution of reproductive isolation”:

3rd December 2020, Dr Salah Elias, "Mechanisms of oriented cell divisions in the mammary epithelium":

8th December 2020, Dr Annette Fayet, “Drivers of seabird migration movements and their fitness consequences”:

10th December 2020, Dr Amy Zanne, "Death and decay: Drivers of wood deconstruction around the globe":

12th January 2021, Prof Steve Lindsay, “Blowin’ in the wind: how malaria mosquitoes find you.” :

14th January 2021, Dr John Blaikley, "Chronobiological regulation of pulmonary disease":