MCR Speaker Event – Wednesday 5:30pm
Category : Events
The first of this term’s speaker events will be held on Wednesday at 5:30pm in the brand new Ship Street Centre lecture theatre. Rhorry Gauld and Byron du Preez will each give a 20 minute talk, which will be followed by drinks in the reception area. The abstracts for the talks are below.
Hope to see lots of you there.
LEOPARD BEHAVIOURAL ADJUSTMENT TO HUMAN PERSECUTION AND INTER-SPECIES COMPETITION
Byron du Preez
Leopards have recently been upgraded from ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List. The global population trend is decreasing, and the effects of ever increasing habitat loss and human persecution are so significant that the cats may soon qualify for ‘Vulnerable’. They are an important component of naturally functioning ecosystems in Africa, however, their nocturnal habits and elusive behaviour results in a lack of data on population dynamics and distribution, which impedes effective conservation of the species and its habitats.
Leopard behaviour is influenced in many ways: indirectly, including prey and habitat availability, and competition for these with other carnivores; as well as directly, such as the immediate impact that those competitors have when in the presence of leopards. They are also the second most sought-after trophy species in Africa, and the effect that human related mortality has on leopard populations cannot be ignored. My research is focused on these factors and what this means for the long term conservation of the species.
The LHC – The good, the bad and the ugly
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is currently the largest and most powerful high energy particle accelerator in the world. The LHC’s first research program began at CERN in the early part of last year. A discussion of the main theoretical motivations for the specific design of the machine will be given whilst also highlighting the difficulties of current data analysis.