Students visit Animal Inside Out exhibition in Newcastle

University of Lincoln Life Sciences students see the world’s most amazing creatures like they’d never seen them before.

The Animal Inside Out: A Body Worlds Production is an unforgettable exhibit featuring real-life animals from gorillas to giraffes, elephants to dogs, all preserved through plastination. This is a process used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts, first developed by Gunther von Hagens in 1977.

Our Bioveterinary students were given first priority to sign up for the trip due to the knowledge and information learned in the classroom being mirrored in the anatomical tour.

Over 60 students took a coach up to Newcastle as part of Activities Week, which the School of Life Sciences puts on every year, to see the real-life application of their classroom-learned skills and knowledge.

With over 100 real animal specimens, students got the opportunity to see the nervous, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive and reproductive system structure within the animals, showcasing what really lies beneath nature’s skin.

The exhibit that runs till January 3rd, 2017 aims to show the complexity of animal physiology, looking at the inner workings of the animal systems that enable them to live, thrive and survive.

No animals were hurt or killed for this exhibit.

Dr Colin Butter took some amazing photos of the exhibit which he has shared below

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To find out more about the exhibit visit:

All About Bats and Owls: Chris Packham to host FREE Halloween wildlife talk

All About Bats and Owls: Chris Packham leads free Halloween wildlife talkNaturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham will explore the wild side of Halloween with a free-to-attend public lecture and live animal demonstration.On Monday 31st October 2016, Chris – who is a Visiting Professor in the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences – will offer audiences a fascinating insight into the mysterious creatures and animals we traditionally associate with the spooky seasonal celebration.

His talk and demonstration, titled All About Bats and Owls, is free to attend and is open to people of all ages. Places are limited so bookings should be made in advance.

Visitors will learn all about the flying creatures from Chris, who co-hosts the new series of Autumn watch beginning on BBC Two today (Monday 24th October).

He will teach his audience how bats live and help them understand the vital ecological role they play. With support from the Bat Conservation Trust, of which Chris is President, the talk will give audiences the chance to observe a live demonstration of pipistrelle bats.

Chris said: “Bats have so many attributes which tickle the naturalist’s fancy. Many of them look quirky so we are fascinated by their bizarre physiology and, relative to so many other animals, they are inaccessible and this tantalises us as we struggle to know them better.”

Chris will also be joined on stage by Derek Tindall Birds of Prey, who will show a fascinating ensemble of birds including a barn owl, great grey owl, Eurasian eagle owl and African spotted eagle.

The free public event follows the recent ‘BioBlitz’ survey of on-campus flora and fauna, which Chris led as part of his role as Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln. Chris and students carried out pond dipping, mud and water sampling, bird calling and spotting, and insect and moth trapping to uncover what creatures live in the natural habitats around campus.

All About Bats and Owls is part of the University of Lincoln’s flagship Great Minds free public guest lecture series, which aims to provide inspirational insights into different aspects of society – from the entertainment world to elite sport. Admission is free but prior booking is essential. This season’s Great Minds series has so far included talks from Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Chancellor of the University of Lincoln and a cross bench member of the House of Lords, and Rory Underwood MBE, one of England’s most successful international rugby players.

For more information about All About Bats and Owls and to book your place, visit the website, email or phone 01522 837100.

BioBlitz: which creatures call Lincoln home?

Chris Packham in the BioBlitzWater shrews, bats, invertebrates and reed warblers are just some of the creatures found during the University of Lincoln’s first ever ‘BioBlitz’ led by naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham.

Chris and students carried out pond dipping, mud and water sampling, bird calling and spotting, and insect and moth trapping to uncover what fauna can be found in the natural habitats around campus.

The BioBlitz – an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area – has demonstrated the varied wildlife and vegetation around the Brayford Pool campus. Such surveys are regularly carried out by scientists, naturalists and volunteers to help build an understanding of different species and their preferred environments.

Chris Packham led the exploration of the many different habitats hidden away on campus as part of his role as Visiting Professor at the University’s School of Life Sciences.

With a broadcasting career spanning almost 30 years, Chris is one of Britain’s best-known conservationists and is renowned as a presenter on the BBC’s popular Springwatch and Autumn watch series.

He said: “We’ve been out sweeping the grass, collecting fungi, pond dipping, spotting birds, and yet there is no end to what we could do to get a snapshot of all things living on campus. I’m delighted to give these young students the chance to really investigate the different natural habitats and microcosms which exist on campus.

“We’ve been very excited to find a water shrew, as well as a reed warbler, which should have migrated some time ago.

“Activities like pond dipping or grass sweeping can be done by anyone – you just need an alarm clock to get up early and catch these different creatures in their natural environments. What I love is the variety and new things which you can discover every time you venture out. We have dipped the pond here today, but tomorrow we could find something entirely different. I hope to enthuse more people to get out there and have a go for themselves.”

The information gathered will feed into a major national database which brings together details from similar events across the UK.

Life Sciences to lead LiGHTS Nights science extravaganza

Skeletons, bush-crickets and dogs helping human health, these are just a few of the fascinating interactive sessions running for an extraordinary one-day science showcase hosted by the University of Lincoln.
Lights Nights Lincoln
See the world of Life Sciences with Lights Nights in Lincoln

LiGHTS Nights – a celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives –will take place on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus and in venues across the city on Friday 30th September 2016.


With a thought-provoking programme of activities asking questions like ‘Am I smarter than my tortoise?’ and ‘Pigs, chickens and criminals’, and Life Sciences are leading the show with over 10 different workshops, tours and lectures throughout the day. Book your place now.
LiGHTS Nights will see academics from the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science present their pioneering studies and invite visitors to become scientists for the day by participating in a range of different activities and experiments.


PG Forensic Anthropology studentsHighlights include Skeletons in the cupboard – an interactive demonstration by forensic archaeologists showing what can be discovered about people’s past lives from studying their skeletons, using finds from Roman and medieval Lincoln. As part of the demo, the researchers from Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences will offer insights into how conditions such as anaemia, malnutrition, tuberculosis and leprosy are recognised. Book here.

We ask, Are human eyes best? See the world through an animals eyes with our specialised camera in a session given by Tom Pike and Anna Wilkinson 1-5pm in JBL, ground floor. Book here.

DNA workshops will enable visitors to extract DNA from everyday food using ordinary chemicals such as washing-up liquid and alcohol – with the chance to win souvenir ‘take-home’ tubes of DNA. Sessions will run 12pm, 2pm, 4pm in the Science Building by Stefan Milson. Click here to book for 12pm. Click here to book for 2pm. Click here to book for 4pm.

Shedding light on mysteries from the animal world, Lincoln researchers will present their work exploring how dogs are helping human health; which diseases have been passed to the human race from the animal kingdom; and the colourful traits developed by creatures around the world to attract their mates. Click here to book for 12pm, Click here to book for 2pm, and Click here for 7pm session and join in this great workshop with Professor Daniel Mills.

Ears in the legs - How do bush-crickets produce soundHave you ever wondered how bush-crickets produce their sound, and how do they hear their own sound? Researcher Fernando Montealegre-Z and Thorin Jonsson will answer this in ‘Ears in the legs’ between 12pm and 9pm in the Joseph Banks Atrium in our Joseph Banks Laboratories. Book here

LiGHTS Nights is free to attend but bookings for individual sessions should be made in advance. More more information is available and bookings can be made online.

Lincoln research showcased on BBC’s Ingenious Animals

School of Life Sciences on Ingenious Animals

Lincoln research showcased on BBC’s Ingenious Animals

School of Life Sciences on Ingenious Animals
Photo: BBC Iplayer

Research by Dr Anna Wilkinson from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences features on a prime-time BBC television series which sheds light on fascinating findings from the animal world.

Ingenious Animals is a new BBC One series in which a team of wildlife experts travel the globe in search of the most surprising animal stories and reveal how and why animals do such remarkable things.

Catch up on BBC iPlayer here:

Dr Wilkinson’s work exploring the cognitive abilities of cold-blooded animals featured in the opening episode of the series, which is presented by award-winning broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Her research has resulted in world-first evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation.

The study, which was showcased in full as part of Ingenious Animals on Thursday 1st September 2016, revealed that bearded dragons are in fact capable of social learning through imitation.

Scientists draw an important distinction between imitation and emulation when studying the cognitive abilities of animals. The ability to acquire new skills through the imitation of others’ behaviour was previously thought to be unique to humans and apes, however Dr Wilkinson’s work was the first to demonstrate this ability in reptiles.

The research involved two different sets of bearded dragons. One group was shown a video of another bearded dragon moving aside a small sliding door to reach food on the other side, whereas a control group was shown a video of the door opening but with no indication of how it could be moved.

The bearded dragons which were shown the video of the animal sliding open the door were all able to imitate this action and get to the food, whereas the control group could not.

Talking about the research on the programme, presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “Anna has clear evidence that they are solving problems by imitation, and now science is rethinking the extent of reptile intelligence.

“Anna’s exciting research overturns the view that reptiles are slow thinkers with limited intelligence, and these delightful dragons are changing the way we see the reptile world.”

The Lincoln study featured in the first episode of the series, dedicated to ‘animal intelligence’, alongside other research and animal stories from across the globe. The programme also featured rats which are becoming unexpected heroes – helping to save lives as part of a unique mine-detection squad.

The episode is available to view again on the BBC iPlayer: