As part of our September Speakers Programme, Habs students enjoyed three fascinating talks from leading minds in the world of neuroscience, business and geographical research.

Professor Catherine Loveday – Neuroscience

A principal lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster, Professor Loveday has spent many years working with people experiencing memory loss, while researching how we process music. Titled ‘Music, Emotion and the Brain’, her talk was attended by 200+ students, the highlight being a clip of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ interspersed with a singing llama.

Describing what happens in the brain when we listen to our favourite songs, the professor also explained why music has such a powerful effect on our mind and body. She then shared her latest research into emotion and autobiographical memory, and how journaling can improve cognitive recall.

Professor Loveday then spent an hour with Upper Sixth Boys and Girls Psychology students in their Enhancement lesson. She answered questions on why we have musical preferences, the therapeutic benefits of music, how music affects episodic and semantic memory, and whether musical response can be measured in animals.

Jacqui Hine – Maths

Also speaking at the event was Jacqui Hine, Partner at Ernst & Young. Giving her talk in Seldon Hall, Jacqui is a former student of Habs Girls’ before completing her maths degree at The University of St Andrews. Having worked for over 20 years with multinational companies, she had decades of experience to share with us, from her time specialising in technology, consumer products and accounting.

From international financial reporting, to balance sheets, corporate reform and more, Jacqui brought a wealth of experience to her talk, giving students an invaluable insight into how maths applies in the real business world.

Chris Satow – Geography

Speaking in Aske Hall, Chris Satow studied Geology and Physical Geography at the University of Edinburgh, before moving to London for postgraduate research. Investigating the links between the climate, volcanism and human migration over 200,000 years, Chris recently completed his research on how sea level change has affected volcanic activity on the Greek island if Santorini.

In his talk, ‘A Greek Volcano ruled by the Sea’, Chis showed how researchers piece together records of both sea level change and volcanic activity, comparing the two over tens of thousands of years. He then revealed how sea levels have a major bearing on how often the Santorini volcano erupts.