Bertalanffy Lecture on the Development Biology of Plants
26 April 2016
In two lectures at Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr Ottoline Leyser is going to give insights into her research on the development biology of plants. The renowned scientist is the guest speaker for the ninth “Bertalanffy Lecture at COS”, organised by the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) and taking place on 28 and 29 April 2016. The lecture series sponsored by the Klaus Tschira Foundation is not only angled at experts. It is also meant to reach out and communicate research results of the life sciences to school students, in particular. The Bertalanffy Lecture provides a forum for exchange between teenagers and scientists from various disciplines.
Ottoline Leyser studied at the University of Cambridge, where she obtained a doctorate in the field of genetics. She then worked at Indiana University (USA) and in Cambridge, before doing research at the University of York from 1994 to 2010. In Cambridge she is the director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, which investigates the regulatory systems for the development and growth of plants. Prof. Leyser’s main fields of interest are plant hormones and physiological changes in the growth processes caused by environmental influences.
Her lecture “Thinking Without a Brain – How Plants Decide What to Do” on 28 April is aimed at students in the last years of grammar school. Prof. Leyser and researchers from the Centre for Organismal Studies will join attendees for discussion in small groups. The event on 29 April is focused on the topic “Auxin and the Self-organisation of Plant Form” and is reserved for scientists of the Heidelberg research hub. There will also be plenty of opportunity for discussion and an exchange of expertise after the lecture.
Heidelberg University’s Centre for Organismal Studies is an interdisciplinary institution of zoology and plant sciences. The lecture series is held in remembrance of Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901 – 1972), a significant 20th century theoretical biologist and systems theorist. The German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung was created in 1995 by the physicist Klaus Tschira (1940 – 2015). The foundation promotes the advancement of natural sciences, mathematics and computer science and wants to raise awareness in these fields. The Foundation’s activities begin in the kindergartens and continue through primary and secondary schools, universities and research facilities.