Outreach – LevelUp Human

In September last year, Sue joined in with Scotland’s Explorathon event by being a panel member on LevelUp Human, where a panel of judges decides what would be the best way to enhance the human race. The resulting comedy podcast is now available here, and because it relies partially on audience suggestion the podcast also includes suggested upgrades from lab and audience members Lauren, Nora, and Georgina.

Outreach – Cafe Scientifique

Lauren embarked on a journey to the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth to give a talk for Cafe Scientifique. If you haven’t heard of Cafe Sci before it is essentially a very casual coming together of people, often in a pub and not necessarily with a scientific background, to hear a talk about science or technology.

Lauren’s topic for her talk was ‘Are Animals Smart?’, where she shared her research with around 50 attendees and discussed with them what makes an animal smart and how to test it. You can read a bit more about it on the Cafe Sci website, or on Lauren’s website.

Outreach – Autumn Festival

blue-tit

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!:

nestsmallnest2

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:

suetalk

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

website

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!

Outreach – Edinburgh International Science Festival

At this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival visitors has their eyes opened to the world of nest building! Lauren, Sophie, and Alexis set up an exhibit on ‘Why Do Birds Build Nests?’, inviting both children and adults to try out their own nest building abilities by creating a nest sturdy enough to hold a chocolate egg! Not only that, but various nests (built by the birds, not the visitors) were on display for all to see and touch for a real hands-on experience of nest building. Attendees were also encouraged to test their bird-based knowledge by matching up birds and nests to their environment in Scotland. All the while, footage of nest building by our zebra finches in the lab and of wild weaver birds in the field (South Africa) were running for the viewing pleasure of the hundreds of people who stopped by.

Many thanks to the BBSRC for funding to deliver this event.

Well done team!

Outreach – Research Illustration

Illustration by Alina Loth

Illustration by Alina Loth

David‘s work on hummingbirds has been included in the Research Illustration project, which aims to communicate science through the use of art. After contacting David, the team of artists and researchers put together a piece on his paper ‘Wild rufous hummingbirds use local landmarks to return to rewarded locations‘, and the final product is available here.