Cornish view Home

So long and thanks for all the fish

Michael Hawkes | 10th September, 2013

Well, it's all over. EMPSEB19 has finished and you're all hopefully tucked up safe back in your labs again. The entire committee would just like to thank all our fantastic delegates and plenary speakers once again for an amazing week of top shelf science and fun times.

If you head over to our Facebook page you'll see we're starting to get all the photos uploaded from your talks, the trips, and the final night. Keep your eyes peeled!

Here be a conference.

Last minute lineup change

Michael Hawkes | 30th August, 2013

We're sorry to inform you all that Johanna Mappes and Andy Gardner will no longer be attending EMPSEB19. We have, however, managed to secure the fantastic Martin Stevens (also on twitter), Seirian Sumner, and Jarod Hadfield as guest speakers. See you all next week!

For details of the timetable changes and new speakers, please check out this handy PDF.

Knock Knock. Who's There? An abstract book.

Michael Hawkes | 14th August, 2013

Hello EMPSEBBERS™, I hope you're all well and excited for the week of brilliant science waiting for you here in Cornwall. A member of our fine publicity team and our Vice-Pres, Emma Wood and Chris Beirne, have been locked away in the EMPSEB19 design grotto for weeks knocking together a cracker of an abstract book for you, and it's now complete. So please take the time to have a flick through it and see detailed information on the schedule, activities, and other talks we've got lined up during EMPSEB19. You'll also receive a shiny physical copy of the abstract book in your goodie bag when you arrive, so don't go printing it out!

There are some issues when viewing the PDF in Mac OSX's Preview, so we recommend you use Adobe Reader (other PDF readers are available).

Click to embiggen.

Fishing for prizes

David Fisher, the Prize master General | 13th August, 2013

Fundraising may be my main task, but I also get to another more fun job: sorting out PRIZES!! Everyone loves a prize, so of course our conference has to have several.

What have I rustled up for the delegates of EMPSEB19? For starters, the main prize for best talk is only a whole week in a Spanish holiday villa for FREE! This is courtesy of our pals at AllGenetics, who are also willing to help out with guides of the local area and pick up from the airport (flights not included). To win the AllGenetics-EMPSEB Award 2013 for best talk your presentation has to be judged the best by our expert panel of plenary speakers. Receiving this award also allows you to give a talk at one of the Infuscience events at the University of A Coruña. Anyone can win, so get practising to your colleagues for a chance to claim this awesome award.

If that prize escapes you worry not, for there are plenty more opportunities to win. We have two copies of “In the Light of Evolution: Essays from the Lab and Field” to give away for the best contribution to our “For the Love of Science” public engagement event. These cool books are collections of writings by eminent evolution biologists about the practical work they under took for major discoveries, and promise to make fantastic bed-time reading. These books are generous gifts from Roberts & Company publishers.

Throughout the conference we will also be giving more books from Roberts & Company away. These will be for great questions, funny moments, or honourable mentions for very good talks that didn’t quite win the Best Talk award. We have four more copies of “In the Light of Evolution” as well as a range of books about population genetics, conservation, statistical analysis, phylogenetic biology and evolutionary development. We’ll be allowing delegates to choose which book they want from the selection remaining, so get involved from the start and you could be walking away with a fantastic book on a topic that interests you!

Finally, we have a raffle for two completely free tickets to a Crop Research conference run by the AHDB. This day-long conference in London aims to bring together experts and industry leaders to pool our knowledge of pests, weeds & diseases, and will be a fantastic opportunity for people with interests in those and related areas. We are allowing the committee members to enter this raffle as well.

Fantastic eh? I can’t wait to hand these out, so I hope you’re excited to start winning them. See you in three weeks!

A timetable approaches with a surprise

Michael Hawkes | 7th August, 2013

We've finalised the EMPSEB19 timetable so you guys can see exactly when you're speaking, check it out here. The full abstract book will be following shortly, so check back here or follow us on twitter to find out when you can start planning what talks you want to go to!

You might notice a new name on the timetable that we haven't mentioned yet, and that's because we've just managed to snag another fantastic plenary speaker for the EMPSEB19 lineup. We are delighted to have Tom Currie joining us to discuss some of his brilliant research where he applies modern evolutionary theory to investigate human behaviour.

Your friendly EMPSEB sec

Beatrice Downing | August 4th, 2013

With less than six weeks to go it’s time for a word from the person who’s been bugging you by email. We’re gathering the final information we need to book events for the right number of people and the right proportion of vegetarian options, after which we’ll be able to publicise fully the local and regional excursions we have planned. On a serious note, it almost looks as though there could be a correlation between vegetarianism and the desire to study evolutionary ecology – suggestions on a postcard please for the evolutionary advantage conferred.

Whilst we’re doing all the boring admin stuff, please let us know (at if you break a leg and end up in a wheelchair, or suddenly take the plunge and go vegan. The sooner we know of any changes to of your requirements, the better we’ll be able to accommodate you. For the freshest EMPSEB news, follow @empseb19 on Twitter

Showing off Cornwall

Matthew Silk | July 24th, 2013

My job is to help organise the entertainment and activities for everyone during and after the conference. The hardest bit of this job has to be deciding where to take people on the post-conference excursion! Cornwall is full of beautiful scenery, fantastic beaches and lovely little fishing villages. Deciding exactly how to fit all of this into a single day of activities, sightseeing and culture isn’t easy. At the moment the plan is visit the very far-western tip of Cornwall (an in fact the whole of England). Here we can hopefully combine some of the most dramatic cliff top scenery in the whole of the UK, fun and games on the beach and some famous Cornish culture, with the possibility of something more active still for anyone feeling adventurous!

Photo © menthedogs (CC)

How long is a piece of talk

Michael Hawkes | July 15th, 2013

Just a quick update to remind all delegates that the length of the talks you present at EMPSEB19 should be 15 minutes. Time permitting there will be 5 minutes of audience questions immediately after each talk. We will be strictly enforcing this time limit to ensure that concurrent sessions remain on the same schedule, so please practice your talks to make sure you don't overrun! I speak for the entire organising committee when I say that we can't wait to see all of your fantastic talks.

Money Money Money

Sheridan Willis | July 14th, 2013

So now that the busy period of producing receipts and invoices has died down, I can now take a minute to step back and relax, and feel proud of what the committee as a whole are doing. Checking the account every week may not be the most fun thing (I’m sure you can all relate to staring at spreadsheets all day to try make sense of them), but there are lots of cool things happening. For example, we have now booked flights for Prof. Troy Day and Prof. Laurent Keller, as well as organised trains, planes and automobiles for the remaining plenary speakers. Deposits have been paid to secure some fantastic venues, which is just as exciting for the committee as well as you, the delegates.

Speaking of delegates, a whopping 78 of you have confirmed and registered to attend EMPSEB19 from all over the globe, not just Europe! And to ensure you all have a fantastic time here the fundraising team, led by David, has managed to raise over £10,000! This is an amazing effort from all in helping to secure this, and as a result we’ve been able to say yes to many funding requests from the committee to make the conference the best it can be. This all means we can not only have a great forum to chat science with fellow PhD students, but put on a good old shindig in the evenings! So watch this space people… EMPSEB 19 is on track to be an incredible adventure here in Kernow!

Evolutionary Beerology

Lindsay Walker | July 3rd, 2013

As the lone Scot in the group, it seemed only natural to have me in charge of sourcing the alcohol for EMPSEB19! Throughout the conference week we shall be providing delegates with a few tempting treats including local ales, possibly a few ciders and definitely fine wine. I am currently chatting to several local alcohol distributors to secure beverages to accompany our fantastic events, such as our visit to the unique Eden Project and our public engagement showcase at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. I look forward to officially welcoming you to Cornwall with a toast at our Wine Reception!

A sneak peak at our talks

Chris Beirne | June 26th, 2013

69 days to go and we have begun to compile the abstract book for this year’s EMPSEB19. Re-reading through your applications has given us chance to reflect on the fantastic diversity of talks that will be given at this year’s conference. Without giving too much away, we will be hearing about marine sperm, “lumpy” bee genomes, geriatric king penguins, Bengal tiger population structure, and the sharp edge of parasite resistance. We will get a fish eye view of mollusc pattern variation and find out how researchers are harnessing lasers to track insects! We can’t wait to see your talks!

Update from the President

Siobhan O'Brien | June 19th, 2013

I hope you are as excited as we are about EMPSEB this year! We have a fantastic dedicated team of organisers so if you have any questions about the event please don't hesitate to email us. We have organised a really great conference, with a few unusual twists that will involve the Cornish community,a ship museum and having fun in indoor tropical biomes! A welcome pack will be sent out to you in July with information on our various events and excursion, the venue and travel details. At the moment, Emma is putting her artistic skills to the test by designing our abstract books and posters, David is trying to persuade lots of companies to give us money, and Sheridan is locked in a room somewhere sorting out fee payments and receipts!

See you in 75 days!

Website update and speaker lineup change

Michael Hawkes | June 17th, 2013

As you may have noticed we've had a slight website redesign to give you guys easier access to the information you need in the run up to EMPSEB19. All the important details you need to do with the organisation and logistics of the conference can be found under the Event Details tab, and everything to do with additional activities can be found under the Activities tab. We will continue to update this news feed with information as and when it becomes available, particularly closer to the conference, so check back often!

We're also sorry to announce that Dan Nussey and Shakti Lamba are no longer able to speak at EMPSEB19 due to scheduling conflicts. We were all looking forward to their talks exploring variation in the ageing process, and the evolution of sociality and culture in humans but wish them the best of luck!

On the bright side, we've just added more details about the two workshops that we will be running during the conference. If you have any questions please e-mail, tweet @empseb19, or leave us a comment on facebook.