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insight4me Biology: Ecosystems With University of East Anglia & The University of Sheffield

25th November 2020 @ 11:10 - 12:10




insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12 & 13 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how, in this case, Biology is taught.

In this insight4me Biology webinar for schools and colleges, The University of Sheffield and University of East Anglia will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Ecosystems, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the Year 12 students.

Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience of this topic at university, and compare and contrast how other subject areas across the Biology spectrum might be treated. Students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond A-levels, IB, BTEC and equivalent qualifications.

By hearing from 2 unis, students will also appreciate how the further study of Biology can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

Full details of the universities and their talks will appear below when available. 

  1. University of East Anglia: Dr Iain Barr – Biological SciencesExploring Ecosystem Complexity. Ecosystems are structured as the environment and species interact. How many species you find in an ecosystem depends on how much ecological space there is. We can measure ecological space using sound. The more complex ecosystems have more complex sound structures, by day and by night and by looking at the processes (e.g. the noise of a waterfall) and the species and how they inhabit certain sound frequencies we can measure ecosystems. Ecosystems modified by humans often have different sound profiles to wild system and we will explore these ideas in the session.
  2. The University of Sheffield: Professor Duncan Cameron will present Soil Microbes, The Key to Future Global Food Security? Duncan will talk about the consequences of modern agriculture for soil microbial ecosystems and how our intensive way of producing food has destroyed the very ecosystems that might be critical for future food security. This is not a story of doom and gloom however, we now have the solutions but those solutions will need political and cultural will to succeed.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.



Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Biology and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Biology at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:




25th November 2020
11:10 - 12:10
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