Find out more about different types of evolution and what natural selection in action looks like.
Students! If you have attended two or more Genomics Lite: Biodiversity & Evolution webinars you’re eligible for a certificate of attendance – any student that is eligible and has not yet received theirs can email email@example.com.
Missed the final session? View Session 4 below, or you can catch up on the whole Genomic Lite: Biodiversity & Evolution series.View the YouTube playlist ❯
Genomics Lite is a programme of live webinars exploring a different field in biology, and how genomics research contributes to understanding in the field.
In this Biodiversity & Evolution series, you can hear from researchers at the cutting-edge of biodiversity and evolution, and put your questions to the scientists. Each week different researchers explore how genomics can aid our understanding of biodiversity and evolution, how it can help with conservation efforts, and the impact of human activity on biodiversity and evolution.
You can now catch up on Session 3 with Petra Korlevic exploring the fascinating history of malaria, and how humans have affected the evolution of malaria and mosquitoes. Take a look:
Complete the independent activity. Investigate how modern science is conducted using the Darwin Tree of Life as an example. Have a go ❯
Take part in a quiz. Every half-term, you are invited to take part in a quiz about the Darwin Tree of Life project! Students with the highest score get entered into a prize draw to win a WHSmith voucher. Ready? Go to the Quiz ❯
How will the Darwin Tree of Life benefit the public? What are the biggest challenges the project has faced? And how much DNA can you really get from a protist?
The University of Edinburgh’s BioPOD, a podcast by the School of Biological Sciences, chose to interview Professor Mark Blaxter and Dr Alex Twyford about the Darwin Tree of Life project in May 2021.
Professor Mark Blaxter is Programme Lead for Tree of Life Programme, and Dr Alex Twyford is an evolutionary biologist working at the University of Edinburgh who is interested in speciation and adaptation in flowering plants. They are both heavily involved in the Darwin Tree of Life project.
Professor Blaxter and Dr Twyford discuss the benefits of the project, and how “sequencing life for the future of life” can improve our understanding of genomes, and global conservation efforts.
They also touch on the potential resources hidden within genomes, such as spider’s silk: if we could recreate the unique chemistry that makes spider silk extremely strong and sticky, what uses could that information have in our daily lives?
You can also hear them discuss the benefits of keeping the data open and available online.
You can listen to the full interview (59 minutes) now.
Sally has taken part in some exciting public engagement projects, including running the Instagram account Pondlife_Pondlife, and a YouTube series which was ‘a safari to explore the microbial wildernesses all around us’ with the American Museum of Natural History. See her at work here:
In a blog post from the Earlham Institute, Sally explains how studying protists could make us rethink what we know about biology, genetics, and the complexities of life on Earth.
The Darwin Tree of Life team are delighted to announce the release of three complete bumblebee genomes this week. These high-quality, chromosomally complete reference genomes have been produced from specimens from Wytham Woods, near Oxford.
Dr Liam Crowley, a postdoctoral field biologist at the University of Oxford who is a member of the Woodland Wonders team, writes about the importance of sequencing the genomes of bumblebees, and which species were sequenced.
You can also view the public genome data yourself!