“Making Sense of Your Science” career workshop – Sunday 3 July

SEB MAIN MEETING 2016, BRIGHTON CONFERENCE CENTRE

SUNDAY 3RD JULY, 10.30 – 15.30

MAKING SENSE OF YOUR SCIENCE

£27 including lunch

Making “Sense of Your Science” is a Career Workshop being held at the Brighton Conference Centre during the Society for Experimental Biology’s conference on Sunday 3rd July. This one-day event is being made available to local PhD students and postdocs and includes a panel of media professionals who will give you helpful advice about how to communicate your science to the media, as well as more general rules about how to present your science in writing and face-to-face. See below for more detail of the programme.

Sign up by 4pm, 27 June

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New research will benefit patients

Scientists at the University of Brighton are playing an integral role in developing a new early warning system that tells patients and carers when urinary catheters are infected and at risk of blocking.

Urinary catheters are the most commonly used medical devices, with hundreds of millions sold worldwide every year. Many of these will be used for long-term management of incontinence in older individuals or those with spinal cord injuries, and these patients are at particular risk of infection, and associated complications.

One of the most serious complications of infection is the encrustation and blockage of catheters, which is mostly caused by a bacterial species called Proteus mirabilis. Blockage, in turn, leads to the onset of serious complications such as kidney infection and septicaemia, one of the UK’s biggest killers.

A reliable system for patients or their carers to spot infection early and take action before blockage occurs would have considerable benefits to patients, and could considerably reduce NHS costs.

Dr Brian Jones

Dr Brian Jones

Leading the university’s research is Dr Brian Jones, Reader in Molecular and Medical Microbiology at the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, and Head of Research Development at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. This work is a collaboration with scientists at the University of Bath.

 

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South Africa field trip 2016 – days 11 and 12

The last two days were dedicated to personal projects where students collected data to answer their own research question. This year studies ranged from the effects of burning on plant biodiversity to behavioural observations of Rhino. This is another great opportunity to put into practice the skills learned during the taught sessions, but also to spend time focussing and enjoying their field of interest.

Overall this trip was another success and students really enjoyed their experience:

“The South Africa field trip has to be one of the best experiences of my life! It has been a huge boost to my academic learning, coming away with a larger skills set and focus for my future career! My personal project involved me being on foot researching southern white rhino, a once in a life-time opportunity. It such an inspirational and incredible trip, I am itching to get myself back to South Africa!” 

Daniel Bardey recording white rhino behaviour

Daniel Bardey recording white rhino behaviour

Everything about the module was perfect, there isn’t much more to say, but it has definitely been one of, if not the best experience of my life

Great field trip location, staff, good timing and methodical learning process

Unfortunately all good things come to an end, but before packing our bags and flying back to Brighton, there was a last chance to unwind at the Kopje, one of the highest points overlooking the reserve where we could all admire the sun setting on another successful and rewarding trip…. Until next year!

South Africa field trip 2016

This year 24 second year students flew to South Africa with Dr Anja Rott, Dr Rachel White and Dr Neil Crooks to take part in the Biology Field trip.  All students shared a common interest for wildlife conservation and the great outdoors!

During 12 days at Mankwe Game reserve, near Pilanesberg National Park, students improved their species identification skills and undertook a wide variety of exercises in both data collection and data analysis, ranging from large mammal transects to Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), bird counts, camera trapping and sweep netting for invertebrates – to name just a few. Early mornings were rewarded with fantastic wildlife sightings and beautifully lit landscapes.

Connected to the above activities, the students were constantly learning about best practice for managing a wildlife game reserve, including fire management and anti-poaching.

 

Biological Sciences at Brighton

Third year Biological Sciences BSc(Hons) student, Steven Purnell, tells us more about studying here

Biological Sciences is a diverse topic, ranging from biomedical modules to ecology and optional geology/ geography modules. Most of your module choices will be optional, meaning you can pick and choose the topics you are most interested in.

The Brighton teaching staff are excellent; well-informed and enthusiastic lecturers. The support staff are always helpful, particularly in the labs where the technicians are always willing to point you in the right direction.

My final year project (studying the antibiotic resistance of biofilm-forming Escherichia coli) helped me learn skills such as designing an experiment, conduct literature reviews of previous publications and gave me a great deal of good laboratory practise.

I did an internal placement year at the university, assisting a lecturer in his research on pathongenic E.coli inSteven-Purnell the microbiology research laboratory, which expanded my experience. Puttingtheory into practice really helped me to understand the practical side of what we had learned.

I am currently applying to PhD places in various microbiology topics, in particular work with pathogenic E.coli as it is a topic I have become increasingly interested in from my placement year and final year project experiences.

I would describe my course as fascinating, enjoyable and enthralling. If you want a biology course encompassing both biomedical and ecology topics, this is definitely the one you should pick.