Upcoming Events

Endless forms most beautiful: the dynamic diversification of snake venom

Speaker: Byran Fry

Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12

Snake venom is subjected to a myriad of evolutionary selection pressures. The classic interaction is of a predator-prey chemical arms race, with prey specificity being the driving force shaping the venom. We have shown for example that neonate Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja species) specialise on lizards and have neurotoxic venoms which subjugate prey through the induction of flaccid paralysis brought about by blockage of post-synaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In contrast, adult brown snakes and taipans (Oxyuranus species) of any age


A tale of the bird, the cat and the pig. Smaller, bigger, biggest patterns and processes in the size of birds and other wildlife

Speaker: Jim Hone

Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12

In wildlife communities there are often more smaller than larger species:  the species-size relationship. Many ecological hypotheses have been proposed to explain the pattern. New hypotheses are described and evaluated. The seminar will examine whether the pattern occurs in birds in different zoogeographic realms around the world and why. The relative strengths of evidence for hypotheses are estimated. The management implications of the results are described briefly.

 About Jim Hone

Jim Hone is Emeritus Professor in the Institute for Applied


The arse-scenic life of arsenic in the human body

Speaker: Teresa González de Chávez Capilla

Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12

Arsenic is ubiquitous in the environment and widely available to humans through their diet. Arsenic toxicity depends on the chemical species absorbed and metabolised once inside an organism. The current regulations to prevent overexposure to arsenic are primarily based on inorganic arsenic species, disregarding more than 30 arsenic species also present in food. There are many studies on the effects of inorganic arsenic on human health, however, only recently the focus has shifted towards the consequences of both endogenic and