Tonight we have three speakers, all researching matters of the mind:
Clarissa is in her final year of a part-time PhD in Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester, and she also works as a full-time Research Assistant at the Personal Social Services Research Unit. Her work explores the relationship between cognition and everyday activities (e.g. shopping, finances, cooking) in dementia, and to developing interventions related to these. Losing the ability to perform everyday activities is one of the first symptoms of dementia, and it goes hand in hand with forgetfulness and other cognitive deficits. Effective interventions can allow patients to continue functioning better and for longer.
*****UPDATE: Unfortunately Clarissa is unwell, and not able to attend tonight. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope to have her at a future event.*****
Manoli is a second year PhD candidate at the University of Salford, studying research collaborative practices among practitioners of different artistic disciplines. He recently gave a performance at Texture (Lever Street), on the subject of Symbiosis. Perhaps we can expect something a little different tonight? Here, at least, is a taster of what to expect:
Interactions between barnacles and baleen whales hold great wisdom for performing artists. So claims composer and second year doctoral candidate Manoli Moriaty, whose research at the University of Salford explores collaborative performance between artists of different disciplines. His work draws on the biological phenomenon of symbiosis, where organisms of different species form close and persistent interactions towards benefiting at least one of the involved beings. Similarly, Manoli collaborates with dancers, actors, performance artists, and instrumentalists in developing live pieces involving sound, motion, and their effects on each other, be that mutualistic or parasitic.
You can read more about Manoli’s work here.
Matt Barnard, Psychology
Do you remember back in May (it’s the one where we didn’t have a pub), that we were due three speakers, but we ended up with two (really intoxicating – haha) talks on drugs instead? Well, our third speaker from that night is here at last to talk about his research in the field of Philosophy:
Matt Barnard is a Ph.D. Candidate and Associate Lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University researching the 20th Century Philosopher Martin Heidegger’s concept of Freedom. He will be contrasting the view offered by Heidegger, in which we must understand the world as grounded in freedom, with the mechanical view of the universe that understands everything within it as causally determined. Matt is also Membership Secretary to the British Society for Phenomenology, and runs a philosophy and politics blog, www.mattoffact.co.uk
Our first three speakers of the new semester are:
Tom Bourne, Chemical Engineering:
Tom is approaching the end of his Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University. He will be talking with us about thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
Monique Henson, Astrophysics:
Monique has just begun the second year of a Ph.D in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. Her research area is galaxy clusters, which are groups of hundreds of galaxies bound together by gravity. More specifically she looks at how we simulate the formation of these structures and why our simulations differ from what we observe in the sky.
Melody Obeng, Polymer Chemistry:
Melody is in her final year of a biomedical materials Ph.D in the school of materials. Her project is concerned with the effect of graft co-polymer structures on their morphology and temperature dependent properties (the project’s aim is to create this complex structure on the nanometre scale and study its shape and its responsive to various temperatures). Outside of University, she loves to sing, and is part of a gospel collective that performs at gigs in Manchester and Liverpool.
In no particular order, the evening’s speakers are:
Xavier Just Baringo, Chemistry:
Xavi is a PostDoc in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He did his PhD in Barcelona, were he designed a new way to synthesize a family of naturally occurring antibiotics, the thiopeptides. This also allowed him to produce non-natural analogues with improved properties otherwise impossible to obtain.
He will talk about the various ways of synthesizing both natural and artificial drugs based on natural products, with an emphasis on those of marine origin. Producing these molecules in the laboratory and in industry gives chemists a tool to obtain better drugs, but also to preserve the environment!
James’s research is also about drugs! More information to follow.
Matt Barnard, Philosophy:
Matt Barnard is a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University researching the 20th Century Philosopher Martin Heidegger’s concept of Freedom. In contrast to most debate around freedom, Heidegger does not consider freedom to be a matter of the amount of control we have or a feature of our will. Rather, his concept of finite freedom implies that, while free, any sense of gaining control of our destiny is mere illusion. Matt is also Membership Secretary to the British Society for Phenomenology, and runs a philosophy and politics blog, www.mattoffact.co.uk.
In no particular order, the evening’s speakers are:
Charlie Spring, Human Geography:
Charlie is in her first year of a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Salford. Her research starts from the contradictions of food availability in UK cities, where high levels of food waste coexist with hunger and food-related illness. She’s comparing the Real Junk Food Project with other organisations that redistribute surplus food to people, asking what it means to cook and eat together, and how such organisations might advocate to address systemic causes of hunger and waste.
Sarah Ryan, Life Sciences:
Sarah is a final year PhD student at the University of Manchester working on dementia and motor neuron disease. She is trying to figure out how a genetic error can cause both of these diseases, using a species of microscopic worm called C. elegans. This has earned her the unfortunate nickname, Worm Girl, which she is expecting Marvel to turn into a superhero character any day now. Sarah can be found on Twitter as @Geekazoid.
Alex Dicker, Nuclear Physics:
Alex will be talking about lasers. Lasers!
Victoria Stiles, History:
Victoria recently completed a PhD in History at the University of Nottingham. Her research looks at nonfiction publishing from Nazi Germany, in particular the information on “Englishness” and the British Empire which was made available to German readers.
Marc Hudson, Sustainability:
Marc is doing a Ph.D in socio-technical transitions at the Social Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester. He is studying the drivers and limitations of change from fossil fuels to more sustainable technologies, and what this means for climate legislation. More specifically, how have mechanisms within the US and Australian coal industries affected national environmental policies?
Kat Gray, Environmental Engineering:
Kat is in the first year of a Ph.D in environmental engineering at the University of Manchester. Her thesis is in retrofitting UK housing for a warming climate, and considers the performance of existing housing stock 50, or 100 years from now, when climate change is expected to have noticeable effects on life in Northern Europe.