Grasslands at Ness Family Science Fair

Raj_Ness_Science_Fair_Mar_2017

Raj Whitlock and PhD student Di Yang took part in the Ness Family Science Fair for British Science Week in March. They manned a stall with model grassland communities, and talked with members of the public about the importance of plants, how plants work, grasslands, their conservation and threats to plants from climate change. Their installation at the science fair also included a grassland-inspired arts area, which became a popular relaxation point for parents and kids in the hustle and bustle of the event (which was attended by ~1500 people).

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The Fascination of Plants

Di_Yang_FoPD_May_2017

PhD student Di Yang took part in the Fascination of Plants Day event at Liverpool’s World Museum in May. Di helped inspire visitors of all ages with the fascination of plants, helping them to make recycled pots out of newspaper and to plant sunflowers, runner beans and pak-choi. It was a great day with 856 family visitors to our section of the event.

Harambee! Let’s all work together!

36 Maasai elder

An exciting part of the activities of the Mara Herbivore Research project is the work we do with the local communities around Talek in Kenya. For more than a decade we have been running a training course for Kenyans working in the tourist sector. Here we develop the knowledge and skills required to work as a professional tourist guide. The main focus is on making up-to-date scientific knowledge about the African ecosystems and their inhabitants accessible locally. It leads to many stimulating discussions when we are comparing research findings with local ideas about nature: sometimes science is merely confirming what has been long known locally, sometimes the two are at odds and we discuss why this may be.

We also teach on the ecology and conservation of African ecosystems at primary and secondary schools in both Kenya and the UK. Here it is encouraging to experience the connection that kids everywhere have with nature and feel their enthusiasm. We are always hoping that we may inspire some to follow a career in science or conservation later on.

As opportunities arise, we moreover give talks to raise the awareness of the general public on the urgent threats facing Africa’s savannas, particularly from encroaching human populations, intensifying livestock production, poaching and climate change. In doing so, we encourage locals to reflect on the sustainability of some current land-use practices, and we seek to convey to people elsewhere that conservation in developing countries is a global responsibility.

For more details about Dr Jakob Bro-Jorgensen‘s work, click on this link: Mara Herbivore Research project

IIB researcher features in award winning documentary on synchronised swimmers

Dr Michael Berenbrink’s research is a major focus of an award winning TV documentary about the world-best synchronised swimmers. The documentary, made by Japan’s public broadcasting company, NHK,  won the first prize in the Sports Activity Category in  the 2017 World Media Festival, with the prize awarded on at festival in Hamburg on the 10th of May.

michael berenbrink

The documentary is available on YouTube miracle body documentary. Although in Japanses, the footage of the athletes and their under and over water acrobatics is stunning. Dr Berenbrink was involved in filming in Tokyo, Barcelona and Liverpool, and developed a protocol for measuring changes in the size of the red blood cell storing spleen while the athletes were holding their breath in an MRI scanner, and compares the athletes’ abilities to those of specialised diving mammals, such as otters.

swimmer

Mole rats without oxygen, seal necroscopy, and teaching teachers

  1. New Teacher Subject Day, Organised by the Prince’s Teaching Institute, Pimlico Academy, Saturday 14th January 2017

On Saturday, 14th January 2017, IIB researcher Dr Michael Berenbrink has been taking part in the New Teacher Subject Day organised by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (http://www.princes-ti.org.uk/). The event took place at Pimlico Academy School, London, where Dr Berenbrink presented a talk about his work on the diving capacity of marine mammals to 20 newly qualified and trainee school teachers for Biology. The Prince’s Teaching Institute is a charity whose mission includes to ‘invigorate headteachers’ passion for education, re-awaken teachers’ love of their subject, and show the newly qualified how to enhance their impact.’ Providing a wealth of resources, the New Teacher subject days are delivered by experienced teacher leaders in conjunction with leading academics and are designed to improve confidence and bolster ability.

 

  1. Symposium of the Liverpool Veterinary Zoology Student Society

On the weekend of March 25-26th IIB researcher Dr Michael Berenbrink took part in a seal necropsy and presented a 50 min talk on the “Evolution of oxygen stores and mammalian diving capacity –  from water shrew to blue whale” at the Northern Zoological Symposium in Liverpool, a multi university event with the aim to educate about all aspects zoological. This year’s event was organised by the Liverpool University Veterinary Zoological Society and included a series of lectures and practical sessions and a formal gala dinner at the Albert Dock.

 

  1. CNN Digital Commentary of naked mole rat study

On Friday 21st April, IIB researcher Dr Michael Berenbrink was interviewed by the news channel CNN Digital for his professional opinion on a study published in the magazine Science about the extreme ability of naked mole rats to survive without oxygen. The full report about the study including Dr Berenbrink’s comment can be followed here: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/21/health/naked-mole-rats-oxygen-study/

Family Science Fair at Ness Gardens, 11th March 2017

Iain Young and Laurence Anderson were talking to visitors to the Family Science Fair about Aquaponics today.

Laurence’s PhD springs from our partnership with Farm Urban www.farmurban.co.uk: an SME founded by two University of Liverpool PhD Graduates: Paul Myers and Jens Thomas. Paul Myers (winner of the 2016 Duke of York Young Entrepreneur prize) said: “Farm Urban take science fresh from the lab and implements it in aquaponics systems in the heart of Liverpool”. “The partnership between Farm Urban and the University of Liverpool helps us to develop and test the most efficient ways to grow food in urban environments”.

Aquaponics provides a focus for inspiration and a narrative for healthy eating and environmentally sensitive food production, which we have used to engage schools, residents’ associations, hospitals and other universities and to develop education and research around sustainable urban living.

Laurence Anderson brings aquaculture and plant growth trial experience from the recent BiFFiO (testing the potential of aquaculture and agriculture waste streams for biogas production and fertilizer: www.BiFFiO.com) and RAZONE (using ozone to improve aquaculture water quality: www.Razone.no) projects.

iain young ness gardens march 2017

How to make a Google Scholar Profile

Why a Google Scholar Profile is a good idea:

Google Scholar offers a very popular way to create a profile that showcases your papers and the citations they have received. This can be linked to your other websites. More importantly, anyone who finds one of your papers on google scholar will be able to click on your name to go to your site and see all your papers.

Pretty much anyone who publishes papers should get a google scholar profile. All you need is to have a university email address.

Setting up an account should only take a few minutes.

To see a few examples:

https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=zFKVwTIAAAAJ&hl=en
https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=3C3hLOcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=XBWVU8EAAAAJ&hl=en

 

What you need to set up an account:

1) a googlemail account. If you do not have one, simply go to gmail.com and set one up, you simply need to pick a user name and password.

2) a photo of you (optional, but a good idea)

 

How to set up your account:

1) Go to Google Scholar (scholar.google.co.uk)

2) Click on “my citations” at the top of the screen

3) The first page will ask for you university affiliation, and your university email, so that google scholar can confirm you are really you. Add any relevant keywords to make your account easier to search for. You should also add a link to your university homepage. You can also add a photo at this point.

4) Add your publications. Simply run a search on google scholar for your name, and add your publications that come up. If any old ones are not listed, you can add them by hand by clicking on “+ Add” in the gray toolbar above your article list.

5) Confirm that google should automatically add new articles as they are published. But if you have a very common name, google might add articles that are not by you. In this case, it is better not to automatically add them, and instead google will email you for a confirmation each time an article appears that it thinks is by you.

6) Add co-authors. Google will automatically locate any co-authors of your papers, and place them in a list to the right of the page. Simply click on the plus sign next to each name to add them as an official co-author.

Congratulations! You have a google scholar profile!

Upkeep: the profile should update itself when you are cited, or when new publications arise. But it is worth checking it every now and then in case it has missed a paper, or given you a publication that is not really yours.