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Mosquitos, spiders, evolution and climate change will all come under the microscope in a series of public lectures to mark the opening of Edge Hill University’s new Biosciences building.

The University’s Biology department has enjoyed a major revamp and has been extended with a whole floor of brand-new lab space, supporting further work in Human Biology, together with enhanced facilities for research.

New courses in Ecology and Human Biology have also been launched to complement the investment.

To celebrate the new additions and to highlight the academic talent within the team, a number of free public lectures have been organised between January and February 2014, to showcase the ever-growing research the department is undertaking.

Dr Paul Ashton, Head of Biosciences, said: “These new facilities complement the original purpose-built building which really ensures that our students get a rich and rewarding experience.

“Our final year students rated teaching and learning resources for Biology the top Biology department in the UK in the 2013 National Student Survey and we want to build on this success further. That’s why we felt it was important to mark the opening of the new building by hosting a series of lectures with our star academics, who are all involved in ground-breaking research that will make a difference to tomorrow’s world.”

Dr Ashton’s talk on What Darwin Didn’t Know launches the series launches on 15th January, which provides an overview of Darwin’s theory, its development and modern evidence while fully explaining the routes of speciation that Darwin missed.

Other talks in the series are as follows:

  • 29th January, Wildlife Under a Changing Climate. Dr Ian Powell takes a closer look at what is happening on the ground, and in the sea, how plants can climb mountains, how quickly butterflies can reach Scotland, and see why such changes can even threaten our fish and chips.
  • 12th February, Maintaining Forest Biodiversity: Invertebrate Ecology Research in the Boreal Region of Northern Canada. Dr Anne Oxbrough will give an overview of ecological research as well as discuss the importance of terrestrial invertebrates in forest ecosystems. She will also present data on spider and beetle diversity which was collected from a large scale, long-term forest management experiment.
  • 26th February – At War with Mosquitoes: the Use of DNA Technology to Help Control Vectors of Disease. As Mosquitoes are the vectors of some of the deadliest and most debilitating human diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, Dr Clare Strode will give an overview of mosquito biology, control and the latest research into understanding the molecular basis of insecticide resistance and its consequences.

For more information about the lecture series or to book your place, please contact Emily Bennett on 01695 677348 or email bennette@edgehill.ac.uk.