Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar

Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.

Past events in this series
27 April 2018
14:00
Abstract

Classical work of Jeffery from 1922 established how at low Reynolds number, ellipsoids in steady shear flow undergo periodic motion with non-uniform rotation rate, termed 'Jeffery orbits'.  I will present two problems where Jeffery orbits play a critical role in understanding the transport and aggregation of rod-shaped organisms.  I will discuss the trapping of motile chemotactic bacteria in high shear, and the sedimentation rate of negatively buoyant plankton. 

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
11 May 2018
14:00
Abstract

Since the invention of the microscope, scientists have known that pond-dwelling algae can actually swim – powering their way through the fluid using tiny limbs called cilia and flagella. Only recently has it become clear that the very same structure drives important physiological and developmental processes within the human body. Motivated by this connection, we explore flagella-mediated swimming gaits and stereotyped behaviours in diverse species of algae, revealing the extent to which control of motility is driven intracellularly. These insights suggest that the capacity for fast transduction of signal to peripheral appendages may have evolved far earlier than previously thought.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
25 May 2018
14:00
Professor Stephen Gourley
Abstract

I will discuss some properties of delay differential equations in which the delay is not prescribed a-priori but is determined from a threshold condition. Sometimes the delay depends on the solution of the differential equation and its history. A scenario giving rise to a threshold type delay is that larval insects sometimes experience halting or slowing down of development, known as diapause, perhaps as a consequence of intra-specific competition among larvae at higher densities. Threshold delays can result in population dynamical models having some unusual properties, for example, if the model has an Allee effect then diapause may cause extinction in some parameter regimes even where the initial population is high.

Please  note that this talk is only suitable for Mathematicians.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
1 June 2018
14:00
Abstract

ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are critical for coupling changes in blood glucose to insulin secretion. Gain-of-function mutations in KATP channels cause a rare inherited form of diabetes that manifest soon after birth (neonatal diabetes). This talk shows how understanding KATP channel function has enabled many neonatal diabetes patients to switch from insulin injections to sulphonylurea drugs that block KATP channel activity, with considerable improvement in their clinical condition and quality of life.   Using a mouse model of neonatal diabetes, we also found that as little as 2 weeks of diabetes led to dramatic changes in gene expression, protein levels and metabolite concentrations. This reduced glucose-stimulated ATP production and insulin release. It also caused substantial glycogen storage and β-cell apoptosis. This may help explain why older neonatal diabetes patients with find it more difficult to transfer to drug therapy, and why the drug dose decreases with time in many patients. It also suggests that altered metabolism may underlie both the progressive impairment of insulin secretion and reduced β-cell mass in type 2 diabetes.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
15 June 2018
14:00
Abstract

Ultrasound (US) imaging is one of the first steps in a continuum of pregnancy care. During the fetal period, the brain undergoes dramatic structural changes, many of which are informative of healthy maturation. The resolution of modern US machines enables us to observe and measure brain structures, as well as detect cerebral abnormalities in fetuses from as early as 18 weeks. Recent breakthroughs in machine learning techniques for image analysis introduce opportunities to  develop bespoke methods to track spatial and temporal patterns of fetal brain development. My work focuses on the design of appropriate data-driven techniques to extract developmental information from standard clinical US images of the brain.

 

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
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