Symbiosis between trees and fungi: how mycorrhizae connect our forests
Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiosis with the roots of most trees on Earth. These fungal networks enable entire forests to communicate and compete, and new research shows mycorrhizal fungi are central to understanding how forests will respond to global environmental change. Come on out to Science Under the Stars this March to learn about new research showing how these fungi connect forests, as well as new evidence that rapid global environmental change is altering our forests by manipulating the forest fungal microbiome.
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:
- 6:30 pm: Food and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available. Also, meet with our children’s division for fun activities designed for all ages.
- 7:00 pm: Find a seat and settle in, because the talk begins now!
- 7:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.
Life Among the Ants
Dr. Mark W. Moffett, research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, author of the book Adventures Among Ants, and protégé of E.O. Wilson, talks about the ways that modern humans are much more like ants than we are like chimpanzees. With our societies of millions, only certain social insects and humans need to deal with issues of roadways and traffic rules, public health and environmental safety, assembly lines and teamwork, market economics and voting, slavery and mass warfare. The talk will be illustrated with a few of the hundreds of images from Mark’s National Geographic Magazine stories, many of subject never seen before. The lecture will transport the audience around the world, to experience the fierce driver ants of the Congo, deadly bulldog ants of Australia, marauder ants of Asia, leafcutter ants of South America, and slavery ants of the USA.
Science Under the Stars is a free, monthly public outreach lecture series founded and organized by graduate students in the Section of Integrative Biology at University of Texas at Austin. Our goals are to host fun, informal science outreach events for Austin citizens of all ages, and give scientists a venue to share their work with the general public.
Lichenized-fungi of Texas: Biology, Ecology, and Distribution of a Diverse Group of Understudied Organisms
Lichens are a diverse group of organisms in Texas, occupying many different types of habitats throughout the state. There are over 500 species reported for the state, and the number is undoubtedly greater considering the relatively low amount of collecting that has been conducted. With a diverse flora and fauna well-reported for Texas, lichens also need to be included in the discussion of the state’s high biodiversity levels, and also towards developing conservation strategies for threatened ecosystems.
Texas Salamander Extravaganza
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!