Forthcoming Seminars

Please find below details of the Pudding Seminar programme for Easter Term 2018.

All seminars will take place in the Principal’s Lodge. Coffee and cake will be available from 1pm with the Seminars starting promptly at 1.15 pm.

If you are interested in giving a pudding seminar, or would like further details about the series, please contact Delphine Mordey (


27 April: Bijun Tang (MPhil), 'Seeing Plant Hormone in Action'

Gibberellin(GA), a key plant hormone, is first identified in the pathogenic fungus Gibberella fujikuroi which causes disease in rice. GA is crucial in several developmental processes, such as seed germination, root and shoot elongation, flowering and fruit patterning. GA manipulation is thus an important milestone in agriculture which has resulted in ‘green evolution’ and has led to a massive increase in global wheat and rice yields.

Concentration of GA can be regulated by integrated environmental stimuli and endogenous signals, which allow direct responses to suit different environmental conditions, however, the spatiotemporal distribution of GA in vivo remains ambiguous. Therefore, the spotlight is now on the distribution patterns and finely-tuned concentration gradients of GA.

An optogenetic biosensor, GPS1, has been developed and is used to study the correlation of GA4accumulation and hypocotyl and root elongation. My proposed PhD project aims to re-engineer GPS1 to have next-generation GA4biosensors which are reversible and to have the first-generation GA12biosensors.

We anticipate that the discoveries stemming from these sensors will provide the detailed understanding necessary to make strategic interventions into GA dynamic patterning in crop plants for specific improvements in growth, development, and environmental responses

4 May: Chrystel Papi (MPhil), '‘Tracing the roots of a Globalisation backlash in American political outcomes of the early interwar period (1919–30)’

The reversibility of globalization and the shift towards protectionism has been a recurrent feature in history. At the dawn of the Great Depression, many countries witnessed the surge of diverse tariff barriers and immigration restrictions reaching pre-1870s levels. Protectionism swept the globe and economic interdependence did not rise again until the end of World War II. Within this historical conjuncture, the case of the United States sheds light on the development of public response against the perceived effects from greater economic openness.What factors drove the electorate? In an attempt to find an answer, I explore region–specific economic dynamics, in order to identify what patternsof popular thought were arising in response to extra-American threats. Preliminaryevidence suggests that, in the aftermath of the first wave of globalization (post 1870), unfamiliar inputs from a more cosmopolitan realitygenerated by both immigration and the perception of a globally integrated market within a period increased economic and social hardship. This further supports the view of a globalization backlash taking place in the early interwar period. Surely, the account of the early–twentieth century invites obvious and frightening contemporary echoes.

11 May: Tanya Paes (MCR) will present her research on the relation between play and children’s development

18 May: Erika Teichert (PhD), 'Difficult Histories: Representing Memory and Human Rights in Argentina'