Conference – ISAE

The International Soceity of Avian Endocrinology (ISAE) held its quadrennial conference from October 11-14th this year at Niagara-on-the-lake in Ontario, Canada. ISAE takes place every four years in a rotation system between Asia, Europe, and America, and is dedicated to showcase up-to-date advancements in the field of avian endocrinology, while bringing together scientists from all over the world. With a combination of plenary lectures, symposia, and poster sessions, ISAE2016 creates a fantastic opportunity for scientists to meet and exchange information on a wide range of avian species.

David, supervised by Dr Karen Spencer and Dr Sue Healy, delivered a 15 minute oral presentation of his work describing how early-life stress induces long-term effects on systems regulating stress and immune responses within the central nervous system of female Japanese quail (Corturnix japonica). David came away from the conference with the first prize for best student presentation, well done David!

certificate

Sneak peek footage

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During our field season earlier this year, Sue and our collaborator Andy Hurly (and the hummingbirds) were involved in the filming of a documentary. The series ‘The Nature of Things‘ features a look at hummingbirds, with some incredible footage of the birds in action! Though the episode won’t be available until around late November, you can check out a bit about the making of the documentary as well as a snippet of footage* here on the CBC website.

 

 

*in addition to Sue, Andy, and the hummingbirds, in the background you can also spot Freya, and Maria whose pink coat does catch the eye somewhat

Outreach – Autumn Festival

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A blue tit

A juvenile Treecreeper

A juvenile treecreeper

 

Over the weekend the St Andrews Botanic Gardens held their Autumn Festival, where Sophie got involved with the Bird Ringing Demonstration. This demonstration was put on by members of the Tay Ringing Group, with the aim of catching, identifying, and ringing as many garden birds as possible. This activity gave the general public a chance to see up close the kind of birds that they would find in their garden. Sophie and the group caught many coal tits, blue tits, great tits, lots of gold crests, a blackbird, a robin and even a juvenile tree creeper! For Sophie, the activity was even more enjoyable because they caught over 5 blue tits that she had rung earlier in the year, while still in the nest, as part of her PhD research.

 

Outreach – Explorathon 2016

The Healy lab came out in full force for Explorathon 2016, an event based on discovery which aims to engage and entertain the public. This year Explorathon celebrated European Researchers’ Night by holding events all over Scotland, including in St Andrews. These events brought together researchers and the public through a series of informative and fun activities, which members of the Healy lab were proud to be part of:

The XX Factor:

gtalk noratalknorawinNora and Georgina joined in The XX Factor, where female researchers talk about their work, but just as importantly how they got to where they are today. With the aim to inspire others, the event held a competitive edge but it was Nora who took home the prize for most inspirational researcher, so a huge well done to her!

 

Research in Action!:

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It’s the return of the nest building stall! With help from Lauren, Eira, Nora, Georgina, and Tayanne Corbani, members of the public were invited to have a go at building a nest. Not only that, but the nest had to be solid enough to hold a chocolate egg, which the builder could keep at the end.

 

Level Up Human:

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Finally, Sue partook in the event ‘Level Up Human‘ where a panel tries to decide how best to improve humans, be it through the ability to talk to animals, breathe fire, or be able to download dreams.

Outreach – Scottish Ornithologists’ Club

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The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club gave a warm welcome to Sophie at an evening event in St Andrews inviting PhD students to talk about their research. Sophie spoke about nest building and about whether temperature affects the nest that a bird builds. The talks were followed by a reception where Sophie could chat to the attendees further, some of whom have since stayed in email contact. Great work Sophie!