Lucy Easthope a keynote speaker at a Philadelphia symposium

Dr Lucy Easthope from the School of Life Sciences will lead a conference in Philadelphia, USA this week on mass graves and archives.

Lucy-EasthopeThis symposium, which features innovative scholars and practitioners from archives, digital humanities, forensic science, anthropology, and crisis management, centres on these cross-cutting questions about ethics, agency, cultural risk, and the recovery and preservation of evidence.

The day will look at answering: “How can archivists and digital humanists attend to the virtual and physical possessions of native peoples who have traditionally had their things archived without their consent?”

The symposium seeks to create new and ongoing collaborative relationships across fields oriented towards innovative evidentiary practices, and to establish an agenda for further work in both scholarship and professional ethics.”

The growth of digital archives and humanities has raised questions on the preservation, ownership and privacy of this information and Lucy will cover this in her keynote speech and through other speakers at the workshop in Pennsylvania.

To find out more about this symposium, follow this link:

Researchers to present at leading diabetes conferences

The Diabetes Research Group from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, will be presenting their latest research at two conferences hosted by Diabetes UK.

The first presentation will take place at the Midlands Volunteering Conference on Saturday, 28th February.

The event will bring together Diabetes UK volunteers from across the region, giving them a greater insight into the studies taking place in the Midlands.

The group, led by Professor Paul Squires, will provide an overview and update on current Diabetes UK-funded research at Lincoln and join a panel discussion.

Understanding and ultimately preventing renal damage in diabetes sufferers is a key aim for the group.

Professor Paul Squires and Dr Claire Hills, also from the University of Lincoln, are carrying out research supported by project and equipment grants from Diabetes UK.

Their joint research aims to better understand the sub-cellular mechanisms that regulate how people with diabetes can end up with diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease).

They are currently investigating how high glucose and an important down-stream pro-fibrotic cytokine called Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta), cause renal damage as a result of this metabolic disease.

Dr Hills said: “Understanding the mechanism by which TGF-beta evokes its effects is essential in establishing novel therapeutic strategies for the prevention or arrest of the disease.”

The group will also be presenting their research at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference at the ExCeL London on 11th to 13th March.

The conference normally attracts more than 3,000 national and international delegates and is the largest event in the UK run exclusively for healthcare professionals and scientists working in the field of diabetes.

All abstracts will be published in Diabetic Medicine 33, 2015.

Professor Squires said: “The aim of this event is to describe how Diabetes UK funding has helped our research and to explain how the work will ultimately benefit people living with the condition.”

As part of the event, Professor Squires will also be chairing a State-of-the-Art session at the meeting entitled, ‘Latest Islet Biology’, which will examine recent developments in improving insulin secretion from pancreatic islets of Langerhans and new technologies geared to transplantation therapy using engineered beta-cells. The islets of Langerhans are the regions of the pancreas that contain its endocrine (hormone-producing) cells.

International canine and feline science forums

The effects of cat predation on other species and the view that dog owners have better general health when compared with non-owners are just two topics to be discussed at an international conference at the University of Lincoln.

Following on from a vision seven years ago to bring together researchers within a range of disciplines interested in better understanding the behaviour of canids, the Canine Science Forum has become the leading conference in its field; now the Feline Science Forum aims to do the same for those working on the Felidae.

Lincoln PhD student and co-organiser of the conference, Prarom Sriphavatsarakom, said: “It is a great opportunity for Lincoln to host the 2014 Canine Science Forum, the leading international dog-science focused meeting. As we have seen from the past three meetings, Forum has been successful in bringing together canine scientists from different study fields to meet, share the latest knowledge and establish networks for collaboration.

“We are introducing the parallel meeting devoted entirely to cats, the Feline Science Forum, partly because we have so much feline research going on at Lincoln. We hope this will be a unique research-focused event that will gather feline scientists from around the world. These events will consolidate Lincoln’s position on the map as one of the world leading research centres for companion animal science and will help showcase our existing expertise in canine and feline science.”

Dr John Bradshaw from the University of Bristol will kick off the Feline programme on July 14th with a thought-provoking consideration of comparative sociality in cats. Dr Rebecca Thomas from the University of Reading will then review the latest evidence of the impact of domestic cat predation on wildlife.

Leading evolutionary biologist Dr Marcello Ruta, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, will begin the afternoon session with a review of the latest thoughts on the evolution of the Felidae. The final session will focus largely on new ways of assessing and measuring cat behaviour, including a demonstration of the Cat Facial Action Coding System by the team from the University of Portsmouth. In the evening, leading anthrozoologist, Professor James Serpell of the University of Pennsylvania will deliver a free public lecture on ‘The making of companion animals’.

The Canine Science Forum starts with Distinguished Professor Ben Hart of UC Davis, examining what wolf behaviour can and cannot tell us about dogs. Professor Clive Wynne of the University of Arizona will deliver a further invited talk on the cognitive differences between dogs and wolves. Dr Mariana Bentosela, who has developed innovative techniques for assessing the emotional responses of dogs, will lead the second day of talks, with Professor Claudio Sillero of the University of Oxford, giving a further plenary on cooperation on the wonderfully adaptable canidae.

Thursday will begin with a practical demonstration of working dogs in Library Square at 9.30am on Thursday, 17th July. Leading canine geneticist Dr Erik Axelsson of Uppsala University and palaeontologist Dr John Finarelli of University College Dublin will complete the line-up of invited speakers.

Both the Canine Science Forum and the Feline Science forum will be held at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) within the University of Lincoln’s Brayford campus.

Details on the invited speakers can be found at:, with the full programme available at:

For more information e-mail or visit


Disaster response expert gives keynote speech at conference

Mass fatality disasters expert Dr Lucy Easthope, from the School of Life Sciences, recently facilitated a seminar about meeting the needs of emergency responders.

The event, organised by the Tayside Local Resilience Partnership in Dundee, was aimed at managing responders’ needs during a mass fatalities incident.

The day focussed on the emergency services and the local authority, which would respond to an incident with mass casualties and discussed how to look after staff that have been involved or responded to the incident.

Dr Easthope’s consultancy and research specialisms focus on mass fatalities planning, Disaster Victim Identification (DVI), community recovery and the care of survivors, the bereaved and the deceased after disaster. She also has a special interest in the care and return of personal effects.

She has advised governments, corporations and relief agencies in the aftermath of major incidents, including the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand, as well as developing contingency plans, training programmes and exercises with a number of international organisations.

She has also participated in the response to major aviation disasters, the Bali terrorist attacks and the operations at Brize Norton during the military campaign in Iraq.

Dr Easthope gave the main presentation and there was also a case study presented on the Clutha incident in Glasgow where a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a bar killing 10 people.

Dr Easthope said: “Meeting the needs of emergency responders is a particular passion of mine and the day was invaluable for identifying various lessons that can be implemented in future mass fatalities disasters.”

Seminar attendee Charlie Maclean-Bristol posted this comment on his recent blog: “Listening to the lectures and people taking about their experiences was quite humbling and very much brought home to me the reality of the incidents we plan for as business continuity people. When we develop business continuity we are very much focused on objects, buildings, telephony, IT and suppliers and sometimes I think we treat our staff as another object. Going to the seminar reminded me of the human aspects of an incident and how even just the death of one person in the workplace, not even as part of an incident, can have a major impact on an organisation.”

Lincoln experts invited to international conference

Two academics from the School of Life Sciences have been chosen to attend a unique conference focussing on missing persons.

Dr Lucy Easthope and Gillian Fowler are in The Hague for the convention hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Running from Tuesday, 29th October to Friday, 1st November The Missing: An Agenda for the Future will see experts from around the world discuss the issue of missing persons in all its facets.

Dr Easthope’s work focusses on mass fatalities planning, Disaster Victim Identification (DVI), community recovery and the care of survivors, the bereaved and the deceased after disaster. She also has a special interest in the care and return of personal effects.

Gillian is a Forensic Anthropologist with extensive experience working in post-conflict mass grave exhumations in Guatemala and more recently in Afghanistan.

Globally, there are millions of cases of missing and disappeared persons from armed conflict and human rights abuses. In addition, thousands of persons go missing every year as a result of disasters, migration, human trafficking, organised crime and other causes.

During the last two decades there has been a striking evolution in how the issue of the missing has been addressed, particularly following conflict and disasters.

The primary objective of the conference will be to review the dynamics of these advances and to explore how the issue of the missing should be addressed in the future.

As such, the conference will focus on global initiatives to account for persons who go missing for any and all involuntary reasons.