The Feminisation of Nature

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7434 4479 EXT 11


18:00–19:00 Thursday 20 October 2016 

161020 Charles Tyler
Image © Charles R Tyler

Some chemicals discharged into the environment can alter hormone systems in exposed wildlife affecting developmental processes, including reproduction. Exposure to these so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has also been associated with various human health disorders including, reduced sperm counts in men and obesity. One group of EDCs, the environmental estrogens, has been associated with feminised responses in male fish, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. Effects include altered sexual behaviours, reduced sperm production and quality, and intersex. This lecture will provide a critical analysis on the effects of environmental estrogens on wildlife and the implications for wildlife populations, with a principal focus on fish. It will also illustrate how some molecular technologies are helping in to unravel the complex ways in which oestrogenic chemicals interact within the body.

Charles R Tyler is a reproductive physiologist and ecotoxicologist and Deputy Head of Biosciences at the University of Exeter. His research spans investigations into the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, pharmaceuticals and nanoparticles, to assessing population level impacts of these environmental contaminants in wildlife, principally fish. He was involved with some of the first studies to show that there are chemicals in the environment that mimic hormones leading to the feminisation of fish in UK rivers. 

This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary. Tea will be served in the Library from 17:30 and the event will be followed by a wine reception.

Book Sale

The Linnean Society's annual book sale will take place in the Council Room from 19:00 to 20:00.

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