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March 8, Colin Averill

Symbiosis between trees and fungi: how mycorrhizae connect our forests

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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.

November 9, Serena Zhao

A fungus among us: mushrooms and beyond

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What does baker’s yeast have in common with the world’s largest organism? What feeds plants through their roots, while related species can survive on bare rock? Fungi!!! Fungi are more closely related to humans than they are to plants, and play a variety of different roles within ecosystems. For instance, fungi can be plant mutualists, animal pathogens, or decomposers. At Science Under the Stars this November, we will explore this amazing Kingdom – the shocking lifestyles, outlandish physiology, and the ways that fungi touch our lives every day.

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: Food and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 6:30 pm: Kid’s 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!

Nathan LeClear

Photosynthesis: Past, Present, and Future

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Have you hugged a tree today?  Thanked a pond full of algae?
Plants are responsible for the oxygen in the air we breathe, they form the basis of the food web in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and are the sources of many of our fabrics, materials, and medicines. How can plants do so many marvelous things?  Photosynthesis!
Come hear the story of the reaction that has shaped the face of the planet, dictated the path of evolution for life on Earth, and is key for our future.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 8:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

Emily Marie Booth

Plants on Fire! 

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Is wildland fire friend or foe? Can we control it–and should we try to, every time? What do the plants have to say about it? Come to the next SUTS to find out how fire affects plant communities (and some animals!), and how we can use fire as a tool to maintain ecosystems.
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 8:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

Alejandro Berrío

Science from the Coffee-lands

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After oil, coffee is the most used product in the world, more than a half of adult Americans consume at least one cup a day and it’ has been recently discovered many of its notable health benefits. Aside of many fun facts about coffee, there are several difficulties that coffee growers face to bring you this amazing beverage to your hand. This talk will describe how Colombians have produced the best coffee of the world over a century and will explore how their scientific achievements have improved its quality and production size.