Category Archives: Biology

Teaching award

Congratulations to Jane Wishart who won the student nominated award for Excellence in Teaching – Honours Level at Wednesday’s University Teaching Awards.  Jane won the award for her enthusiastic and inspiring teaching, pastoral support of students and for providing opportunities for students to gain research experience.

Appointment of Director of Sea Mammal Research Unit

Ailsa Hall has been appointed as director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU). As director Ailsa is responsible for the ensuring the delivery of SMRU’s strategic science funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Government and for guiding and assisting the academic staff in their pursuit of curiosity driven science and in their teaching commitments.  She also works with SMRU’s commercial arm, a University wholly owned company, to ensure the science also has impact at the applied level. Her personal research interests are in the field of factors affecting survival in marine mammals, investigating the interactions between persistent organic pollutants, immune suppression and endocrine disruption in both seals and cetaceans.  She also studies basic physiology and nutritional condition and is emeritus member of the Unusual Mortality Marine Mammal Events Working Group in the US and is a member of the UK delegation to the International Whaling Commission.

Appointment to BBSRC Pool of Experts

V Anne Smith has been appointed to the BBSRC’s Pool of Experts.  The initial appointment is for one year, with an expectation of continuation for up to three years.  During this time, she will be called to sit upon any of Committees A-D to complement the Committee’s core members, where she will contribute with her expertise on computational biology, animal behaviour and neuroscience, and synthetic biology.

Sascha Hooker Promoted to Reader

Sascha Hooker has been awarded a promotion to Reader, based on her work on marine mammal ecology.  She uses advanced microelectronic dataloggers to monitor movements of marine mammals, and combines these with novel technologies such as the use of camera tags, to provide context for the interpretation of behaviour.  Her work on the diving behaviour of beaked whales has provided the foundations for understanding their adverse reaction to ocean noise, with consequences for industry and military operating procedures. She advocates using research to help advise policy for this and other conservation issues, and has directed much attention to the determination of more rigorous ecological criteria for the designation of marine protected areas.