BioSciences Seminar Series - The biology of a balanced diet
As part of the 2018 BioSciences Seminar Series, Professor Stephen Simpson will present a Frontiers in BioSciences Lecture, hosted by Associate Professor Michael Kearney.
Nutrition directly or indirectly shapes all biological processes and is central to major health challenges facing humanity; yet the question of what represents a balanced diet and how this supports health and longevity remains unanswered. This talk will set out an integrative framework for describing the multidimensional nature of nutritional requirements, the relative values of foods in relation to these requirements, the behavioural and physiological responses when feeding on diets of varying composition, and the health consequences of being restricted to particular diets. These models arose from the study of nutritional ecology and were developed initially using a wide variety of species in the laboratory and the field. Steve will use examples spanning insects to humans to address problems in ageing, obesity and cardiometabolic health.
This lecture will run for 30 minutes, followed by Q&A and tea, coffee and networking.
Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Professor Stephen Simpson
Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences
University of Sydney
Steve Simpson is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. After graduating as a biologist from the University of Queensland, Steve undertook his PhD at the University of London, then spent 22 years at Oxford before returning to Australia in 2005 as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, then ARC Laureate Fellow. Stephen and colleague David Raubenheimer have developed an integrative modelling framework for nutrition (the Geometric Framework), which was devised and tested using insects and has since been applied to a wide range of organisms, from slime moulds to humans, and problems, from aquaculture and conservation biology to the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing. He has also revolutionised understanding of swarming in locusts, with research spanning neurochemical events within the brains of individual locusts to continentalscale mass migration. In 2007 Steve was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, in 2008 he won the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, in 2009 he was NSW Scientist of the Year, in 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and in 2015 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. Steve has also been prominent in the media, including presenting a fourpart documentary series for ABC TV, “Great Southern Land”.