This years Darwin day lecture was delivered by Professor Nick Davies FRS (Cambridge University). In his talk, entitled ‘Cuckoo – cheating by nature’, Prof Davies described one of nature’s most intriguing stories to a packed lecture theatre at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Captivating photographic and video footage showed how some cuckoo species lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and how little warblers are tricked into feeding enormous cuckoo chicks. In his talk, Prof Davies described how 30 years of elegant field experiments have revealed a continuing evolutionary arms race in which escalating host defences have selected for remarkable cuckoo trickery, including different guises in female cuckoos, forgeries of host eggs and manipulative begging by cuckoo chicks. This is a fascinating corner of Darwin’s “entangled bank” where organisms are continually adapting to keep up with changes in their rivals. Many thanks to all those who helped to make this event such a great success.
Yesterday we had a leaving party for Gabriel “Bola”/”Gabrinho” Rossi, who was a visiting member of our lab from São Paulo State University (Brazil) as part of his PhD studies on the genomics of Bacillus in dairy products. Good times we’ve had, good times to come!
Gabriel partying hard with Evangelos, Jess, Guillaume and Sam.
Crawl route: The Scallop Shell, The Bath Brew House, Flan O’Brian’s, The Pig and Fiddle, The Bell, The Common Room.
Our laboratory is very glad to welcome Jessica Calland as a starting PhD student with us! She will work on Campylobacter genomics, population biology and vaccines. Prior to joining us, Jess has completed her MSc at the University of Bath working on Vibrio genomics in 2016. Good luck and we look forward to many exciting projects and research!
Jess, clearly thrilled to start with us!