Join us for the launch of Speakezee Manchester. Speakezee evenings showcase a variety of topics, formats and presenters from graduate students delivering their PhD thesis against the clock to professors talking about their research. Each event will be a unique learning experience with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics with some the best experts in the field. Organized by Dr. Sam Illingworth Lecturer in Science Communication, Manchester Metropolitan University.


Professor Matthew Cobb

How The Nose Knows - You and Your Sense of Smell

The sense of smell is the most mysterious and evocative of our senses. It can conjour up powerful memories, it forms a key part of our sensory experience, and yet we know very little about how it works. In this talk - complete with interactive smelling tests - you will learn how scientists around the world are trying to pierce the mysteries of smell. This will involve jellybeans, maggots and even our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals. You will come away amazed at how sensitive your nose is, and with insight into some cutting edge science.

Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester. He studies behaviour, communication and perception and the way in which they are shaped by genes, environment and their interaction.

Most of his research has focused on insect behaviour and its evolutionary and genetic bases, in particular on genetic and developmental factors involved in chemical communication - olfaction and pheromones. Recently, he has branched out into human olfaction studying the evolution of a particular gene coding for an olfactory receptor, and has been able to reconstruct this part of the nose of an extinct group of humans called the Denisovans and how they were able to smell.

Professor Cobb is one of the UK's best science communicator having given numerous talks. He is also the author of two popular science books, The Egg and Sperm Race and Life's Greatest Secret. Don't miss this opportunity.

Booking info – Tickets £6, available from

Contact – Dr Sam Illingworth, Lecturer in Science Communication, MMU.

Booking for this event has now closed.