Latest News

Fellowship of the Royal Society

Two members of the Department of Zoology have been elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in the latest round of elections. Professor Marian Dawkins CBE FRS is recognised for her pioneering scientific work in the field of animal welfare. Marian's research relating to the welfare of farmed birds has influenced policy and practice across Europe and beyond. Professor Julian Parkhill FMedSci FRS is based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Zoology; Julian is recognised for his research in pathogen genomics.

How the fly flies - X-rays reveal all

A study published in PLoS Biology by Simon Walker and Graham Taylor on 3D imaging of the insect flight motor has been featured on the BBC News, New Scientist and National Geographic. The collaboration between University of Oxford, Imperial College, and the Paul Scherrer Institute used a particle accelerator to obtain high-speed 3D X-ray visualizations of the flight muscles of blowflies. The team developed a groundbreaking new CT scanning technique at the PSI's Swiss Light Source to allow them to film inside live flying insects.

Sex difference bias

The fundamental reason underpinning sex differences is widely believed to be a stronger relationship between promiscuity and reproductive success in males than in females. Recently however, this theory -known as the Bateman's principles after British geneticist Angus Bateman- has been strongly debated.

Charity Concert at Sommerville College: 30th March

On Sunday 30th March there will be a charity concert at Sommerville College in aid of the outdoor classroom at the Oxford University Farm

Sex, skinks, and personality

Understanding individual differences in learning is a major challenge. Pau Carazo and colleagues addressed the possibility that spatial learning ability is associated with personality traits, such as boldness, in males/females of the Eastern Water Skink (Eulamprus quoyii). They show, for the first time in reptiles, that males are better spatial learners than females, which we suggest reflects their different social roles. Furthermore they show that, across the sexes, the boldest and shyest individuals were overall better learners than intermediate individuals.