Despite many difficulties and uncertainties, we are adapting to the situation and continuing to deliver a high quality programme of teaching and research...
University of Cambridge  
Department of Zoology
Dear alumnus/na,

I am sure that the friends and alumni of the Department will be pleased to learn that, despite many difficulties and uncertainties, we are adapting to the situation and continuing to deliver a high-quality programme of teaching and research.

Our students, including those in the final year, have returned to Cambridge for a full programme of learning, although undergraduate teaching is, for the time being, largely a matter of Zoomology. But there are practicals in NST 1B Evolution and Animal Diversity (the successor to Animal Biology), involving moth trapping in the Botanic Garden, novel research on the evolution of Wolbachia, and the analysis of decision-making in sticklebacks, based on several hours of recent filming of them in the lab. The first live laboratory practical is taking place this week in NST 1B Cell and Developmental Biology.

The recruitment of postgraduate students continues vigorously, despite COVID. Seven Master's and 13 PhD students start in October 2020, with a further five PhDs starting later in the year. Of those starting in October, eight are from the UK and the other 12 from 11 different countries around the world.

We were compelled to put off most of our alumni events in the last academic year, but we do intend to resume activities in the current year. The nature and timing of these is still uncertain, because of the continuing flux in the COVID regulations, but we will let you know as soon as we have been able to make some firm plans.

Meanwhile, enjoy this latest newsletter and we send our best wishes to you all.

Dr William Foster
Whalecome back!
Museum of Zoology galleries
The Museum of Zoology – Cambridgeshire’s Museum of the Year – reopened in September, having been closed since the national lockdown in March. The Museum team are making sure visitors have a great experience, whilst also ensuring that all the safety measures are in place to protect everyone, including one-way routes, markers to keep people spaced out, and requiring visitors to pre-book tickets.

There is also more to see. While the galleries were closed over 100 specimens have been added to the displays, including a huge taxidermy tarpon as you enter the Museum (a large-mouthed silver-coloured fish), golden eagles and a fur seal. The Museum is currently open Thursdays to Saturdays, and you can pre-book your free tickets using the button. All are whalecome!

The Museum has ramped up ways of engaging with audiences online, with a hugely successful new blog with research stories, activities for the family and films, encouraging people to take notice of the wildlife around them and to find inspiration in the natural world. It has been shortlisted for the national Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award from Home (but there is plenty on there for adults too).
Book free tickets
Recent awards
Royal Society prize
For the second year running a member of the Department has been awarded the Royal Society's Francis Crick Medal and Lecture. This year we were delighted to offer our congratulations to Dr Marta Zlatic.

Read more >
Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact and Engagement Award 
Dr Rosalyn Wade, our Education and Outreach Officer in the Museum of Zoology, received this award recently. This reflects the huge effort that Roz, and the whole Public Engagement Team, put into developing new material for the Museum's website, to engage new audiences digitally.

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Janet Moore Prize
Our annual award for supervising final-year Zoology students went to two former Part II students, Dr Sarah Luke (Part II 2009) and current PhD student Tanmay Dixit (Part II 2017)

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EMBO Fellowships
Two current members of the Department, Professor Eske Willerslev and Dr Marta Zlatic, and one former member, Professor Anna Philpott (PhD 1991), have been elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization.

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Poster prize at the Systematics, Biogeography and Evolution Conference 
PhD Student Aime Rankin was awarded the best poster prize for her poster 'Assessing the information content of fossil Glires using "artificial extinction"' in the Palaeontology section at this conference in July.

View the poster >
Research news
New book
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