Archive | Biodiversity RSS for this section

April 11, Decio Correa

All about frogs (and toads!)

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

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

Additional Neighborhood Science Talk

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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: https://www.colinrmorrison.com/

  • 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

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


 

441958883_1280x720

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

April 25: 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!
  • April 25, 7pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704

 

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.

May 10, Robby Deans

Scuba Diving Arthropods: How insects (and spiders) make their living underwater.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Modern insects and spiders both evolved from terrestrial ancestors, but some have evolved to live on or in the water.  At Science Under the Stars this May, EEB PhD Candidate Robby Deans will discuss some of the challenges of this environment and how aquatic species overcome them. Additionally, he will talk about the diversity of aquatic arthropods and their interactions with humans. You can read more about Robby’s research interests on his lab’s website.

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.