Institute visitor book

The Institute provides an extremely welcoming place for visiting researchers from around the world, whether here briefly to give a lecture, or for an extended period working with collaborators and as part of sabbaticals. Visiting researchers are introduced to a broad range of multidisciplinary expertise and access to our campus and field research facilities, as well as being welcomed to an array of social events and the opportunity to explore the mountains and lochs on our doorstep.

Our visitor book is a record of some of our recent visitors and their brief thoughts about their time with us.

Visiting & living in Glasgow

The City of Glasgow, the University and Surroundings

Glasgow is a large, diverse, and 'real' city, home to over half-a-million people.  Like most cities, it has prosperous parts, and grossly neglected parts. Glasgow - in my experience - is a much misunderstood city.  I've never experienced a city in which the people are as friendly and good-natured as here.  The University is based in the 'West End' of the city, an extensive area of parks, botanical gardens, pubs, bars, shops, restaurants and coffee houses, all embedded in a matrix of very fine, affordable, spacious tenement flats.  It is routine to live within walking distance of work, and equally easy to travel into the city centre.  Yes - it's pretty wet, in fact it often rains several times a day... but again, it's often sunny several times a day.  Having lived in Vancouver, it strikes me feel reasonably dry!

One of the great attractions of Glasgow is the proximity to the highlands.  Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the Arrochar hills, and the Crianlarich hills are less than 1 hour drive away, Glen Coe and the southern Cairngorms are within 2 hours.  Kintail, Skye and Ullapool are within 4 hours.  You can get an idea of what's 'up the road' from the 'Undiscovered Scotland' site.  Members of the Institute take full advantage of all of this, with regular walking, climbing, canoeing, and sailing days and holidays.

- Dan Haydon, Director of Institute

Recent visitors

Micaela Martinez-Bakker on Creise, Glencoe
Location: Creise, Glencoe

Dr Micaela Martinez-Bakker
National Science Foundation Doctoral Fellow

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan

Dr Martinez-Bakker's thoughts about her time at the Institute...

When I visited Glasgow in September 2014 it was a very exiting time in my life. It was the start of my final year of grad school at the University of Michigan, and I was fortunate to receive a research grant from my institution to visit the Institute for Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (BAH&CM). I set off to BAH&CM to collaborate with Dr. Barbara Helm. My research focuses on the seasonality of childhood infectious diseases and Barbara is an expert on seasonal biological rhythms. Quite fortuitously, Barbara and I teamed up to write a paper at the intersection of chronobiology and infectious disease ecology. While in Glasgow I had an enriching experience working with Barbara and discussing ideas with dozens of the BAH&CM faculty and fellows.

I met with faculty, postdocs, and students in both formal meetings as well as casual gatherings. We talked science everywhere from the lab, to the pub, and the Highlands, and it was fantastic! I was struck by the unparalleled sense of community in the institute. As a junior scientist, experiencing the BAH&CM camaraderie had a large impact on my concept of the academic environment. As a bonus, I also received invaluable feedback on my research following my presentation at the institution seminar and during a mini-workshop held during my visit.

It’s difficult to express how much I admire BAH&CM as a collection of people that are not only great scientists but also inspiring human beings. I can’t wait to visit again.

Location: Beinn A Bheithir, Ballachulish

Dr Cory Suski
Associate Professor

Dept. Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr Suski's thoughts about his time at the Institute...

I was extremely fortunate to spend 3 weeks of my sabbatical leave at the Institute. I worked in the lab of Dr Shaun Killen, collaborating on a lab-based study addressing capture of marine fishes by commercial harvesters, and involving a number of different tools including animal swimming, aerobic/anaerobic metrics, and individual variation.

The ability to use a range of techniques was one of the strengths that drew me to work with Dr Killen, and the project helped me gain experience with several current, cutting-edge methods to quantify performance in fish.

While it was the opportunity to work with Shaun and his lab group that drew me to the Institute, I was extremely impressed with the Institute as a whole, and, in particular, how collegial, interactive, and wonderfully social the entire team was.

There were a number of gatherings that brought faculty and graduate students together, ranging from mid-morning coffee breaks, to pub outings, to hiking through the Highlands. During these interactions, I was impressed with the calibre and quality of the research at the Institute; it was always a pleasure and inspiration chatting with such passionate, successful individuals. By the end of my visit, I had met with almost everyone in the Institute, learned a great deal, and fell in love with both Glasgow and Scotland. I am already looking forward to my next visit.

Location: Loch Lomond
Dr Emmanuel Mpolya
The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST)

Dr Mpolya's thoughts about his time at the Institute...

I met Prof. Dan Haydon in Arusha Tanzania. He was visiting my institution, the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) for some official duties. A short discussion with him revealed that we have similar research agendas and led to my being invited to visit the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow.

While there I learnt quite a lot of things; I met with all researchers working with Prof. Dan, some of whose research is based in Africa. I also had discussions with instructors in biostatistics, which is my field, that helped me learn a lot regarding how best to structure my own lectures. While in Glasgow I also gave a short talk, and attended a talk by another visitor; both activities were very enlightening.

It wasn’t all research and lectures though; we took a trip to Loch Lomond where I tested the strength of my muscles by climbing a small mountain nearby, finishing the day with a dinner by the lochside. Returning to Africa, I was happy I’d had time to visit the Institute.

Location: Sgurr Alasdair, Skye
Dr Andrew Brownlow
Wildlife pathologist
Scotland's Rural University College

Location: Stob a'Choire Odhar

Dr Don King
Head of Molecular Characterisation and Diagnostics
Pirbright Institute

Dr Darren Shaw
Senior Lecturer
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh

Mr Allan Kijazi
Director General

Tanzania National Parks

Blog: Hosting guests from Tanzania National Parks and the Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute

Location: Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
Dr Elie Gurarie
Quantitative Ecologist
University of Washington, Seattle

Location: Curved Ridge, Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
Dr Beatrix von Wissmann
Health Protection Scotland

Location: Stob Ghabhar, Blackmount
Prof Doug Call
Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
Washington State University

Location: Stob Ghabhar, Blackmount
Prof James Nokes
Chair, Dept. Epidemiology and Demography
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

Location: Glen Clova, Cairngorm
Prof Otso Ovaskainen & Dr Maria Delgado
Dept. of Biosciences, University of Helsinki

Location: Blackmount
Dr Jess Metcalf
Assistant Professor
Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

Location: Beinn Sgulaird, Glen Etive
Dr Andrew Yates
Assistant Professor
Systems and Computational Biology
Microbiology and Immunology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Location: Stob Ghabhar, Blackmount

Dr Issa Lyimo & Dr Joseph Mugasa
Ifakara Health Instutute, Tanzania

Dr Katie Prager on Gear Aonach, Glencoe
Location: Gear Aonach, Glencoe

Dr Katie Prager
Research Associate