Archive | Amphibians RSS for this section

Additional Neighborhood Science Talk



Golfo Dulce poison dart frog (Phyllobates vittatus) uses warning colors to advertise its toxicity to predators. Photo: CR Morrison

March 28: Collin Morrison – “Plant and Animal Chemical Interactions” 

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:

  • March 28, 7pm at the Howson Branch, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703. **This talk will be held outdoors, so bring a chair!

Neighborhood Science Talks March-May

Science Under the Stars has expanded to include the Austin Public Library! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches around the city a couple times a month. Stay tuned for more updates!

mantis shrimp

March 28: Emily Rees – “The Science of Superheroes” 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Would you choose super-strength? The ability to leap over tall buildings in a single bound? Invisibility? Mind-control? These ‘superpowers’ that we see in movies and comic books actually occur in a variety of different animals! Come out to Neighborhood Science to learn about the invisible lurker of the ocean, the fastest punch among animals, and the heavy lifters of the animal kingdom.
  • March 28, 7pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704



Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa), an all-female clonal fish

April 25: Allison Davis – “How to get a date: story of a clone”

What do people, peacocks, and Poeciliids have in common? This Valentine’s day, they are all looking for dates! While tasty treats and fancy feathers may work for many animals, clones need some special dating advice. Join us this month to discover how an all-female clonal fish joins the dating scene!
  • April 25, 7pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704



A singing mouse trills in the cloud forest, declaring its presence. credit Bret Pasch

May 16: Tracy Burkhard – “As quiet as a mouse? (Not singing mice!)”

“As quiet as a mouse” refers to people who don’t make a peep–but contrary to the popular saying, many mice want to be heard, and some are actually quite loud! Mice–and mammals in general–use all kinds of vocal sounds to communicate with each other in a variety of contexts. How do mammals make vocalizations? What are mice are saying to each other? And can mice really sing? Come to this lecture to find out answers to these questions and more!
  • May 16, 7:30pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704


Patrick Stinson

How Animals Adapt to Living Around Humans

Patrick Stinson explains the myriad ways in which animals and humans interact in urban ecosystems!

Patrick Stinson is a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Hayley Gillespie

Texas Salamander Extravaganza

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hayley is a graduate student studying the ecology and behavior of the endangered Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum) that lives right here in Austin, Texas. Texas is home to many species of salamanders including the giant black & yellow tiger salamanders, two-legged Sirens, waterdogs, spotted newts, slimy salamanders and a diverse group of permanently aquatic salamanders in the genus Eurycea, all very closely related to our Barton Springs Salamander. Come and learn about their incredible biology, how they survive in all kinds of habitats, and what’s being done to conserve and protect these fascinating amphibians!