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/
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.
How NOT Competing Can Be The Ticket to Success.
With over 8 million species and counting on the planet, fighting for survival can be a challenge. But often, being able to avoid competition is as important as facing up to it. Finding new ways to make a living, new places to colonize, and new things to eat allows species to coexist in our crowded world and results in the astonishing variety of life that surrounds us.
Genevieve studies avoidance of competition in amphipods – tiny crustaceans that live in lakes and ponds.