Archive by Author | Emma Dietrich

Have a great summer!

Thanks for coming out to our talks this semester, we all had a blast! See you again in September 🙂

May 11, Scott Solomon

Human Evolution in the 21st Century and Beyond

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What is the future of human evolution? Once considered the exclusive domain of science fiction, recent scientific advances now make it possible to combine knowledge of our past with recent trends to make meaningful predictions about our evolutionary future. Evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine how modernization—including longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel, and widespread use of medicine and contraceptives— is affecting our ongoing evolution. Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as Ebola and Zika, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary history—one that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.

Bio: Scott Solomon is the author of the new book, Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution (Yale University Press, 2016).  He earned his Ph.D. from UT-Austin in 2007 and is now a Professor in the Department of BioSciences at Rice University in Houston, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703.

Note (5/11/17): There will be a talk tonight, rain or shine! If necessary, we will move inside the field station.

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 7:30-7:50pm – Guided tours of BFL may be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00pm-8:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

April 13, Ashley Green

Invasive species in Texas

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Non-native invasive species are all around us, along our greenbelts, in our water, and in our yards. The number of invasive species has drastically increased due to increased globalization. These species decrease biodiversity and cause economic costs, so come out to Science Under the Stars this April, to learn more about what an invasive species is, which invasive species are a problem around Texas, and what you can do to help.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703.

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 7:30-7:50pm – Guided tours of BFL may be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00pm-8:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

March 9, Rong Ma

Horns and Thorns: Nature’s Ammunition.

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The natural world is filled with weapons. From horns to boiling acid, pincers to neurotoxins, animals (and plants!) have evolved a multitude of weapons with which to wage war. These weapons come in variety of shapes and sizes, and are used in a multitude of different ways and contexts. Yet, they have evolved for a common purpose: they’re useful for securing food, preventing yourself from being food, and, often, reliable with the ladies. At Science Under the Stars this March, come see some of nature’s most awe-inspiring weaponry and find out why they matter.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703.

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 6:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 6:30-6:50pm – Guided tours of BFL will be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 7:00pm-7:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

Spring 2017 Semester Lineup!

We hope everyone had a wonderful winter break! Now that school’s back in session, please save the date to come and hear these awesome speakers.

  • February 9 at 7pm: Alejandro Santillana (Insects Unlocked)
  • March 9 at 7pm: Rong Ma (nature’s weaponry)
  • April 13 at 8pm: Ashley Green (invasive species)
  • May 11 at 8pm: Scott Solomon (Human Evolution in the 21st Century & Beyond)
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events are held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages!
Note: times posted above are for the start of each talk. We will post the precise schedules for each event in a separate, event-specific post. Typically, events start ~45 minutes before the talk.