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Innovation Splash Hackdown

Our very own IT wizard, James Kloda, was invited to participate in the University’s Information Services annual Hackdown – with tremendous success.

The aim of the two-day event was to draw together creative, innovative and skilled IT staff from across the University to design inspiring solutions to some of the challenges facing staff and students.  The competition required the five teams to develop an IT solution which could be considered for further development.

James, and team Spectre, designed ReSEARCH: an intuitive and user-friendly web application that presents detailed profiles of researchers, their projects, peers/collaborators, and any funding bodies/businesses with whom they are linked. Having invited Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philippe De Wilde, to the presentation team Spectre were awarded second place.

Having been impressed by Spectre’s innovative solution James and the team will be presenting their concept to the Research Services management team.  We wish James all the very best for this opportunity and hope to see this exciting project implemented and developed by the University.

You can find out more about the event and the five IT solutions by visiting the IS blog.

Helen Newing

news-newingWe are sad to announce that Dr Helen Newing will no longer be working for the School. Helen has been a lecturer at the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE) since 1999 and has been a wonderful colleague, inspiring teacher and innovative researcher who has been instrumental in the development of Conservation Social Science.

Helen’s role in promoting interdisciplinary approaches to conservation problem-solving has been highly significant within the School and beyond.
 
The high esteem that Helen is held in by students goes without saying, and her contributions to the development of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will leave a lasting legacy. Helen was even awarded the 2015 Ellya Mustafa Staff Award in recognition of her contribution to DICE and the student experience.
We wish Helen all the very best for her future endeavours; she will be greatly missed.

Nagoya Protocol – Recognition for Seema Solanki

news-solankiThe first internationally recognized certificate of compliance under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was issued to SAC PhD student Seema Solanki on 1 October 2015.

Earlier this year Seema received a permit from India’s National Biodiversity Authority to conduct research on the ethnomedical knowledge of a Siddi community in Gir Forest, Gujarat. This permit is evidence that access to genetic resources was based on prior informed consent and was made available to the Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) Clearing House under the terms of the Nagoya Protocol, which stipulates that such permits must be constituted by the ABS as an internationally recognized certificate of compliance. With this certificate, Seema can now demonstrate that she has respected the ABS requirements of India when using the ethnomedical knowledge she gathered from the Siddis.

The Siddis are descended from African slaves and have been settled in Gir Forest for several centuries. They have an extensive knowledge of local flora and fauna. During her research Seema has found that the Siddis not only know how to use a wide range of medicinal plant species, but also have intimate understandings of the local lion population and have contributed to their conservation. The constitution of her certificate is also a major step toward making the Nagoya Protocol operational.

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