Episode 13 – The Science of Jurassic Park

This episode marks the first in a series in which we discuss the science behind some of our favourite science fiction movies. Why start with Jurassic Park? Well, it’s loaded with sciencey concepts, but this year is also 20 years (!) since it was first released and so we thought it would be a good time to check back on how it holds up.

Joining the chat in this episode are Rod Page, Barbara Mable, Kirstyn Brunker, Julie Nati, , James Buckely, Darryl McLennan, and Shaun Killen.

Episode 13 – The Science of Jurassic Park

Episode 13 - The Science of Jurassic Park

Episode 12 – Research Roundup: Bacteria in Chicken Eggs, Antioxidants and Lifespan, and Maternal Effects on Growth in Salmon

In this Research Roundup episode we summarise three recent research papers published by Institute members. First we discuss Maureen Bain’s recent work examining the extent to which bacteria may pass through the shells of the chicken eggs we use for food. We then chat about Colin Selman’s recent paper showing that dietary antioxidant supplements may actually decrease lifespan in some animal populations. We then finish up by reviewing Tim Burton’s research examining maternal effects on early growth trajectories in Atlantic salmon.

We also touch on whether or not the titles of academic papers have become too “spoilerific”, patent a foolproof device for measuring E. coli levels in grocery store eggs, and propose that living with your parents until your middle age might actually be an optimal life-history strategy.

Episode 12 – Research Roundup: Bacteria in Chicken Eggs, Antioxidants and Lifespan, and Maternal Effects on Growth in Salmon

Papers Discussed:

MM Bain, K McDade, R Burchmore, A Law, PW Wilson, M Schmutz, R Preisinger, IC Dunn. 2013. Enhancing the egg’s natural defence against bacterial penetration by increasing cuticle deposition. Animal Genetics. 44:661-668

C Selman, JS McLaren, AR Collins, GG Duthie, JR Speakman. 2013.  Deleterious consequences of antioxidant supplementation on lifespan in a wild-derived mammal. Biology letters 9 (4)

Tim Burton, S. McKelvey, D. C. Stewart, J. D. Armstrong, and N. B. Metcalfe 2013. Early maternal experience shapes offspring performance in the wild. Ecology 94:618–626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/12-0462.1

Episode 11 part 1: The Science of Zombies Live Show!


In this very special episode we chat about the science of zombie-ism! Could zombies actually exist? Do zombies sleep? We discuss all this and more!

The first part of this episode contains the recording from a live event during the Glasgow Science festival, which took place at Nice ‘n Sleazy’s pub here in Glasgow. In this event, moderated by a totally scarifying Zara Gladman, Shaun Killen and Rowland Kao took audience questions regarding zombies and zombie outbreaks.

As it turns out, zombies are an amazing platform for talking about all kinds of topics in biology. In part 2 of this episode, we discuss all kinds of other zombie-related in ssues in science, including the affect of climate change on zombie-ism, how to tag andtrack zombie movements, and whether or not zombies have telomeres. Grab a nice bowl of brains, sit back, and have a listen! 

Episode 11a: Science of Zombies Live Show

Episode 10 – Understanding Infectious Disease

Woman with cows

Woman with livestock © Jo Halliday

Hello and welcome to our 10th podcast!

In this episode we talk with Jo Halliday and Sunny Townsend about their research into epidemiology, the study of patterns, causes and effects of disease.

Child with dog © Jo Halliday

Jo talks us through her work on the transmission of disease between people and livestock in Tanzania, and her recent paper in Philospohical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Sunny explains her work on the spread and transmission of rabies, and a recent paper in the journal Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Episode 10 – Understanding Infectious Disease


Episode 9 – Spatial Ecology Spectacular

African elephant (c) James Grecian 2007

African elephant (c) James Grecian 2007

How do we understand and quantify the way animals move and interact with their environment?

In the first podcastt of 2013 we talk with Grant Hopcraft and Jason Matthiopoulos who have recently joined IBAHCM and are both interested in spatial and movement ecology.

Grant talks us through his work in the Serengeti and a recent paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology examining the role of body size in determining the distribution of grazers in this large grassland ecosystem.

Jason then explains how to approach analysing this type of data, and we discuss his recent paper in Ecology describing how generalised functional responses can be used to examine species distributions.

Episode 9 – Spatial Ecology Spectacular


Episode 8 – How to get research funding

In the last podcast of 2012 we discuss how to source research funding and how to write successful grant proposals. Tune in for some top tips and advice from Barbara Mable, Neil Metcalfe and Kathy Dunlop!

Episode 8 – How to get research funding

There are hundreds of organisations that fund research, but here are a few links to the organisations mentioned in this episode:

Kathy also talks about her work with the The Clipperton Project.