The world beneath your feet: a salamander’s perspective
**Please note date change!**
Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live and recorded.
Living in caves can be difficult for animals. Without light and little prey, it’s easy to wonder: how do cave-adapted animals survive and thrive in such extreme habitats? Join us as we dive into the dark depths of Texas’s aquifers to explore the diverse salamanders that live under our feet. Using cutting edge techniques, we will learn how differences in Eurycea salamander development might lead to the evolution of bizarre cave characteristics, like small eyes, flattened heads, and longer limbs, and how these subterranean aliens offer a window into the health of Texas aquifer ecosystems.
Science Under the Stars has gone virtual! This semester all SUTS activities will be online, but we encourage you to participate outdoors under the stars in your backyard! (If wifi allows for it, of course.) This month’s schedule is as follows:
- November 10th: Links to the kids activities will be posted here and on our Facebook page.
- November 18th, 7:00pm CST: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker! Please note, you must have a Zoom account to access the talk. You can get a free account on Zoom’s website.
Zoom info: https://utexas.zoom.us/j/99900698815
Meeting ID: 999 0069 8815
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series based in Austin, Texas.
Plankton: the little alien-like creatures that might save us all
Is that an alien? Or is it just an Earthling that’s totally different from anything you’ve ever seen? Welcome to the world of plankton, the tiny living things found in almost every bit of water on Earth. You might never realize they’re there, but just a handful of natural water contains astonishing numbers, and life as we know it wouldn’t be possible without them. What’s more, they may hold the key to solving some of our biggest problems. Come see these little water-”aliens” in action and find out how important they really are!
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 (please note time change):
- 6:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
- 6:15 pm-6:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
- 7:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
- 7:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.
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. Below are the dates and descriptions for this fall at the Twin Oaks Branch Library, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704. All talks begin at 7pm.
Thursday, October 3, 7pm: Megan O’Connell – “Bees go grocery shopping”
Thursday, November 7, 7pm: Tristan Kubik – “Clash of the Myrmidons”
The Amazon rainforest is home to two unexpected titans. Leafcutter ants are peaceful, sedentary farmers responsible for processing huge volumes of tropical vegetation. They use their foraging material to cultivate obligate, fungal nurseries that cradle precious brood deep within their subterranean fortresses. Few organisms are courageous or capable enough to threaten mature leafcutter colonies, but the tank army ant is one of them. Tank army ants are nomadic, subterranean ant-killing machines. Their colonies can reach as many as several million and their hunger for leafcutters is insatiable. They flush out and overwhelm kilograms of prey every day with their numbers, mandibles, and venomous stings. And yet, leafcutter nests are not without defenses. Leafcutter colonies rapidly mount impressive responses to the alarming presence of tank army ant scouts including specialized soldiers, construction of barricades, and air-tight linear battlefronts. These two large, complex, derived societies clash in epic battles akin to the wars waged long ago by the Greeks and Romans with heroes just as notable as Hercules and Achilles. Such examples of social conflict are of great interest to systems science and parallels can be drawn to instances of immune systems vs disease, competing economies, and even human warfare. Join me for a night of bravery, sacrifice, and storytelling as I share my passion and knowledge about this riveting rivalry!
Thursday, December 5, 7pm: Allison Davis – “How to get a date: story of a clone”
All about frogs (and toads!)
What is the difference between a frog and a toad? Why do frogs call? Is it true that frogs are disappearing? Are frogs poisonous? What are tadpoles? Get the answers to these and many other frog FAQs while you learn more about one of the most amazing creatures on Earth! You will be guided through the life of frogs (and toads!), from the early larval stages until they metamorphose into jumping animals with all different colors, shapes, sizes, and sounds!
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.
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!
March 28: Emily Rees – “The Science of Superheroes”
March 28, 7pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704
April 25: Tracy Burkhard – “As quiet as a mouse? (Not singing mice!)”
April 25, 7pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704