Murmurations: the wonders of Brighton’s starlings and threats to their survival
4 May 2022, Dr Rachel White and Steve Geliot
Dr Rachel White shared the scientific discoveries and stories about Brighton’s ‘star bird’ the starling. She explored starlings from a global perspective, then focused in on the UK and our very own Brighton starlings - covering their behaviour, ecology, conservation and relationship with people.
Steve Geliot spoke about how the murmuration works; the science behind this dazzling phenomenon, and also revealed the starlings’ amazing senses: how they see and feel the world quite differently to us, and why they need to be able to see the stars at night.
Rachel is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton. Her research encompasses avian ecology and conservation, focusing on human-nature interactions, citizen science, and extinction risk.
Steve is an artist and citizen scientist who recently had an exhibition at Phoenix Artspace called "Undercurrents" with fellow artist Louise McCurdy which was all about our fabulous starlings.
The energy crisis: why prices have escalated, how solar panels helped council tenants save money, and advice for those struggling with energy costs
1 June 2022, Dr Tim Laing, Dr Nicolette Fox and Dan Curtis
On 1 April energy prices increased by 54%, or an average of £700 per year, and industry consultants are predicting a similar rise at the next price cap review on 1 October 2022.
Dr Tim Laing discussed what has caused recent spikes in energy costs and the role that policies to fight climate change have contributed (or not) to price increases and what might happen in the near future with energy prices and the implications for the role of renewable technologies.
Dr Nicolette Fox introduced and showed Take 7, a film based on her research with BHCC social housing tenants who had been given solar panels and the difference this made to many of their lives.
Dan Curtis explained what help is available both locally and nationally to help households tackle rising energy costs this winter.
Tim is an environment, natural resource and development economist and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business and Law at the University of Brighton.
Dan is an energy advisor with local not-for-profit company Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) and has been delivering front line energy advice and support since 2015.
Nicolette is the Development Manager for the University of Brighton’s Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP).
Naked and Unashamed?
5 October, Professor Annebella Pollen
The nude body and its visual depiction have always attracted attention and generated heated debate. What and who should be seen and shown, by whom and where, form the basis of the social and moral codes that shape behaviour and belief. This talk outlined nudist campaigns for bodily visibility in Britain, from the formation of the movement in the 1920s through to the legal battles of its photographers against obscenity law in the 1950s and 1960s and discussed what their parallels are today.
Professor Annebella Pollen is a Reader in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Brighton.
Are we facing another mass extinction event?
2 November, Professor Chris Joyce and Dr Glenn Langler
According to the international environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, we are facing an unprecedented global emergency, a mass extinction of biodiversity of our own making that threatens the future of all life on the planet. This talk examined current species loss in relation to past mass extinction events by introducing the concept of biodiversity, assessing human impacts on nature, and considering whether we need a radical rethink of nature conservation.
Glenn Langler, a local Environmental Consultant, talked about some new approaches to coastal flood risk management and possible solutions to local challenges to the natural environment.
Glenn is a Principal Environmental Consultant who works at JBA Consulting. He completed a PhD in Ecotoxicology at the University of Brighton in 2003 and since then has worked as an ecological and environmental consultant.
Professor Chris Joyce is a Professor of Ecology in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Brighton.