Press Release

14 November 2011

The question of 'how the zebra got it stripes' will be answered by Dr Andrea Sella of University College London, in a special public lecture on Monday, 5 December.

Speaking at this year's Christmas Lecture, hosted by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Department of Geographical and Life Sciences, Dr Sella will give an insight into a chemist’s view of nature, with her talk:  'How the Zebra Got its Stripes - Where Chemistry Speaks and Darwin is Silent'.

Dr Sella will discuss that to a chemist one of the many intriguing features of biology is the exquisite ability of biological systems to control pattern formation, from the stripes on the side of a zebra to the feathers of birds. To do this, organisms have harnessed chemical processes in a remarkable way.

In this lecture Dr. Sella will use a number of chemical reactions to illustrate these ideas. If all goes well, an inorganic system may even be brought to life.

No mention will be made of the periodic table and no chemical background is necessary.

'How the Zebra Got its Stripes - Where Chemistry Speaks and Darwin is Silent' is on Monday, 5 December, 2011, 6.30pm at Augustine Hall, Augustine House,  Canterbury CT1 2YA.

The event is free and open to all, but reservation is required (spaces are limited). For more information, or to register for the talk, please contact Shelagh Mason on 01227 782358, or email:


Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00