Professor Emily Shepard, Department of Biosciences
Professor Gianmassimo Tasinato, Department of PhysicsSpeaker's Biography
Emily obtained her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Oxford University, before moving to Plymouth to do a Masters in Marine Biology. It was in Plymouth that she first started working with animal tagging data, which she continued during her PhD at Swansea University where she worked on diving behaviour in birds. Emily remained at Swansea as a post-doctoral researcher, being awarded a Leverhulme Early Career fellowship to begin a new line of research on the flight behaviour of Andean condors. In 2012 she began a lectureship here, and in 2017 she was awarded a fellowship from the European Research Council to study the costs of flight, which has involved procuring a large wind tunnel to study birds on the wing. She is the recipient of a Dillwyn medal from the Learned Society of Wales and the 2021 Science medal from the Zoological Society of London.
Gianmassimo obtained his PhD in Trieste, Italy, and after postdoctoral positions in Europe he joined Swansea University in 2014 to work in the Physics Department. After the first detections of gravitational waves in 2015, he focused his research on Gravitational Wave Cosmology.From: 8 Jun 2022, 2 p.m.
In celebration of the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s newly promoted Professors, we would like to cordially invite you to join us for the inaugural lectures of Professor Emily Shepard and Professor Gianmassimo Tasinato on Wednesday 8th June 2022 in the Wallace Lecture Theatre, Singleton Campus.
An Inaugural Lecture is a significant milestone in an academic staff member’s career and a fantastic opportunity for our Professors to showcase their achievements in research, teaching, innovation and engagement.
All staff and students are welcome to attend both talks, or you may choose to attend just one. Please specify your preference during registration so that we can accurately track numbers.
Refreshments will be available in Science Central following each lecture.
Professor Emily Shepard will deliver a lecture entitled:
'From take-off to touch-down: The importance of the air for bird flight'
Air is almost never still. This can have profound consequences for flying birds, with wind and turbulence affecting fuel use and flight stability. We are now uniquely placed to understand these interactions, as new tools are available to model the movements of the air, and sophisticated animal-tracking systems can record individual wingbeats and reconstruct flight paths with sub-second resolution. Using data from these black-box flight recorders, I will briefly cover some of the opportunities birds have to profit from air currents, enabling Andean condors and other soaring birds to cover hundreds of kilometres without flapping, before addressing when airflows become challenging. Here I will focus on how streaked shearwaters respond to cyclones in the Sea of Japan; a region that borders the world’s most active cyclone basin. Finally, and closer to home, I will examine how wind affects the ability of cliff-nesting seabirds to land at their nests, and how that, in turn, may influence where they choose to breed. Arguably it is here, in the final moments of a flight, that the air matters most of all.
Professor Gianmassimo Tasinato will deliver a lecture entitled:
'Probing our Universe with Gravitational Waves'
The physics of gravitational waves offers new opportunities for our understanding of the Universe. Fundamental research in Cosmology is starting to exploit these possibilities, developing new methods for probing the very first instants of our Universe’s life, and for collecting gravitational wave signals that will inform us about the future of our Universe. I will describe these fascinating topics, and the work we are carrying on in Swansea for pursuing these ambitious goals.
Contact: Kelly Bevan (Email: email@example.com)