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November 8, Colin Morrison

Plant and Animal Chemical Interactions

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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/

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: Snacks and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 6:30 pm: Kids 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!
  • 7:45 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.

April 13, Ashley Green

Invasive species in Texas

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Non-native invasive species are all around us, along our greenbelts, in our water, and in our yards. The number of invasive species has drastically increased due to increased globalization. These species decrease biodiversity and cause economic costs, so come out to Science Under the Stars this April, to learn more about what an invasive species is, which invasive species are a problem around Texas, and what you can do to help.

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:

  • 7:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 7:30-7:50pm – Guided tours of BFL may be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00pm-8:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

Thanks for a great semester!

The members of SUTS would like to thank all of our attendees for coming out to the talks this Fall (and extra special thanks to those who braved the freezing temperatures last week)!!! We really appreciate everyone taking the time and effort to support these events every month.

Stay tuned for our Spring semester schedule (to be posted in January), and in the meantime, we hope you all have a happy new year!

 

December 8: Will Shim

Real life zombies: the mind-bending power of parasites

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We are all fascinated by zombies; we all love to watch zombie horror movies and TV shows. But what if we told you that real zombies do exist, maybe not flesh-eating ones depicted in Hollywood, but even stranger ones in nature? We might be surrounded by zombies and not even know about it! Come hear Will Shim tell you unbelievable tales about the mind-bending powers of parasites in their hosts.

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:

  • 6:15 pm: Snacks 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!

Folks, looks like it’s going to be a chilly night (in the low 40s!) – please wear hats, gloves, scarves, and coats to keep warm! We’ll provide hot cocoa and tea.

November 10: Amanda Perofsky

Meet the Lemurs!

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Lemurs are primates found only in Madagascar. In fact, Madagascar is home to many animals and plants that are found nowhere else in the world. What makes Madagascar unique and how did over 100 species of lemurs evolve on this island? Come to learn about these fascinating and highly endangered creatures and how scientists and organizations are working to protect them.

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.
  • 6:15 pm: No tours this week because the sun will have set, so kid’s activities start early! Meet with our children’s division for fun activities designed for all ages.
  • 6:45 pm: Short presentation about the history and current uses of Brackenridge Field Laboratory.
  • 7:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!

Additional announcements (11/10):
1) No rain is expected so we will be holding the event outdoors. Bring jackets/sweaters though, it’ll be chilly!
2) We finally have more tshirts for sale, and these have a new, awesome design! If you’re interested in purchasing, please bring cash.