Archive by Author | Christina Balentine

November 8, Colin Morrison

Plant and Animal Chemical Interactions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If atoms are the alphabet of life, then chemistry is the language that articulates those building blocks and gives them meaning in our lives. Behind every biological interaction—from mating signals to toxicity warnings—chemicals guide and shape possible outcomes.

Biologists study the variation of life using many different lenses. One tool that Colin uses in his research is the study of chemical ecology. Chemical ecology combines the fields of chemistry and biology to understand the causes and consequences of species interactions, distribution, abundance, and diversity. The promise of studying the chemistry of interactions between plants and animals stems from its potential to further our understanding of ecology and allow us to conserve nature in a holistic way. This month, Colin will show that chemistry is not an abstract study confined to research laboratories. Rather, it is a universal way of communicating that is responsible for the quantity and quality of plant and animal life on Earth. Colin Morrison is a PhD student in UT’s Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program. You can read more about his work here: https://www.colinrmorrison.com/

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:

  • 6:00 pm: Snacks and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 6:30 pm: Kids activities start! Meet with our children’s division for fun activities designed for all ages.
  • 7:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 7:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.

October 11, Emma Dietrich

The Social Lives of Arachnids

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The arachnid class is comprised of over one hundred thousand described species, many of which live a predominantly solitary life. However, almost all arachnids spend at least some portion of their lives interacting with others of their own species, and a few species have evolved to spend their whole lives living in a group. Territorial disputes, intricate courtship dances, extended maternal care, and cooperative group living are just a few types of social interactions scientists have observed in arachnid species. If you want to learn more about the variety of fascinating social behaviors displayed across this group of animals, come out to Science Under the Stars this October! Emma is a PhD candidate in EEB, and you can read about her work here: https://arachnidlady.wordpress.com/.

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:

  • 7:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.