The University of Aberdeen is holding an annual series of seminars to promote the university's commitment to the health and wellbeing of all the communities of learning in the university and accessible to all.  These seminars are open to all of us as lecturers, students, support staff and anyone engaged in the field of learning and teaching. This is an opportunity for us to explore ways of creating more meaningful relationships in supportive and enabling environments. The seminar cycle will embed principles and strategies for self-care as part of caring for others.

The School of Education is excited to introduce a series of three seminars. Dr Suzanne Zeedyk will be launching the first annual wellbeing seminar cycle.


Over the past two decades, neuroscience has made a raft of discoveries about the impact of stress on human functioning. In this seminar, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk will explore the implications of these discoveries for student learning. If the stress occurred in the early years of life, it is particularly likely to have left long-term physiological consequence that affect a person's ability to self-regulate and feel safe in the classroom. Dr Zeedyk will draw on her metaphor of Sabre Tooth Tigers & Teddy Bears to bring the experience of stress to life.  The seminar will be delivered with staff in mind, leading our discussion to focus on practical implications of this information to enhance student well-being and academic achievement.

Date: Wed 26th October 2016, 2-4pm 
MR028 University of Aberdeen, School of Education, MacRobert Building
Duration of Session 120 minutes

To book a place:


It is very common for students to struggle at university, not just academically but emotionally. In this seminar, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk will explore steps that students can take to support their friends, and themselves, when difficulty occurs. She will draw on scientific discoveries that show us how essential relationships are -- and how the reassurance of emotional connection affects our very biology. She will draw on her metaphor of Sabre Tooth Tigers and Teddy Bears to bring this information to life.  The seminar will be delivered particularly with students in mind, although everyone is welcome. You need bring no knowledge or experience of this area. Curiosity is more than sufficient!

Date: Wednesday 8th February 2017, 2-4pm
Venue: University of Aberdeen, Linklater Rooms
Duration of Session 120 minutes

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Session three: WHAT DOES AN EMOTIONALLY ATTUNED CLASSROOM LOOK LIKE? In conjunction with Café Scientifique.

In the final seminar of this 3-part series, we will explore what an emotionally attuned classroom might look like in the University of 21st century. This is an especially important question in view of efforts to increase equality and diversity on campus, and while rates of young people's mental health struggles continue to climb shockingly.  Student emotional self-regulation is frequently conceived as being most appropriately addressed through support systems outside the classroom, yet scientific discoveries concerning emotional stress make this a vacuous distinction. The seminar aims to bring together staff and students so that, in our discussion, we can together explore ideas about how to create a more emotionally attuned classroom -- one where, in Dr Suzanne Zeedyk's terminology, Sabre Tooth Tigers aren't running riot.

Date: Wednesday 10th May 2017, 2-4pm Venue: University of Aberdeen, Linklater Rooms
Duration of Session 120 minutes

To book a place:


Speaker biography: Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ inborn capacity to communicate. Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee, within the School of Psychology. In 2011, she set up her own independent training enterprise to disseminate more widely the science of the early years. She now spends much of her time speaking to the public about our human need for emotional and physiological connection. She is able to bring to this her research expertise on topics including parent-infant relationships, family support, communicative disorders, and the socio-political contexts that frame our responses to scientific information. She works closely with organisations throughout the world to increase awareness of the decisions we take about caring for children, illuminating the way in which those decisions are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.  In 2011, she received the award for Most Inspirational Teacher from the Dundee University Students Association and since then has had over 40,000 people attend her public training events. She is currently working on a book, entitled 21st Century Babies.