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Freeberg to present “Do Even the Birds and the Bees Benefit from Diversity?” Friday, March 24

Todd Freeberg, professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology will present “Do Even the Birds and the Bees Benefit from Diversity?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 24.

Diversity has been in the news quite a bit recently. Studies of human groups indicate that increased diversity can bring benefits to group members. Is the same true for non-human animals? In his presentation, Professor Freeberg will explore the recent work in birds and bees that tests this possibility.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, March 24 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Science Forum on Spring Break March 10 and March 17; resumes March 24

It’s Spring Break at UT, which means we will not meet Friday, March 10 or March 17.

We will resume Friday, March 24 with Todd Freeberg, professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology, who will present “Do Even the Birds and Bees Benefit from Diversity?”

We hope you make plans to join us again Friday, March 24 at 12 p.m. in the Thompson Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D.

Jennifer DeBruyn to discuss “Microbial Ecology of Human Decomposition” Friday, March 3

Jennifer DeBruyn, associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering Systems & Soil Sciences will present “Life After Death:  Microbial Ecology of Human Decomposition” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 3.

What happens to us after we die? A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers, and multitudes of microbes that blend together and work to recycle tissues back to their constituents. Professor Jennifer DeBruyn will discuss the fascinating process of human decomposition and how scientists are using that information to inform forensic science, livestock mortality management, and processes of fossilization.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, March 3 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Jeffrey Moersch will discuss the use of drones in studying Mars-like landscapes on Earth Friday, February 24

Jeffrey Moersch, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Studies of Mars-like Landscapes on Earth” Friday, February 24.

Terrestrial analogs are places on Earth that share one or more important geologic or astrobiologic characteristics with features found on other planets. In-depth studies of such relatively-accessible locations are useful because they provide a better understanding of the processes that may have been active on other planets and help to refine exploration strategies for future planetary missions. Professor Moersch has worked on terrestrial analog studies related to Mars for the past 20 years using traditional geologic field techniques. He recently added the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) to his approach. During his presentation, Moersch will discuss the added value that UAVs bring to this type of work and share examples from terrestrial analog sites in the high Arctic, the Atacama Desert and Altiplano of Chile, the Mojave Desert, and Iceland.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 24 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Professor Shpak presents “The Truth About GMOs” Friday, February 17

Elena Shpak, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology, will present “The Truth About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” Friday, February 17.

The safety of GMOs has been a controversial topic since they hit the stores in 1994. Professor Shpak will discuss techniques used to generate GMOs, the reasons behind their creation, and their safety for human health and environment.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 17 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Henri Grissino-Mayer to discuss the Gatlinburg fires and what Mother Nature is telling us Feb. 10

 

Henri Grissino-Mayer, professor in the Department of Geography, will present “The Gatlinburg Fires – What Mother Nature Is Telling Us” Friday, February 10.

Could the fire that ravaged Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in November 2016 be a harbinger of future wildfires here in the Southeastern United States? Geography Professor Henri Grissino-Mayer will speak about the unusual and not-so-unusual conditions that led to the catastrophe in Gatlinburg and will discuss ways that the community can lessen the risk of future wildfires occurring in what is a very fire-prone forest.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Sumrall to discuss paleozoic seas and ancient creatures February 3

Colin Sumrall, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present “Hitching Rides in Paleozoic Seas – Ancient Creatures and Their Shellfish Taxis” Friday, February 3.

Edrioasteroids, an extinct group of echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins, and related organisms) have been studied for nearly two centuries. However, details of their ecology are only now emerging. New data suggest that they required hard substrates, such as shells or pebbles, for attachment, and they strongly competed for space when appropriate attachment surfaces were at a premium. Unexpectedly, new evidence shows that edrioasteroids often attached to the shells of live organisms and some species are only known from mutualistic relationships.  In his talk, Sumrall will share this new evidence and discuss the advantages to edrioasteroids.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 3 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

“Getting Rid of Bed Bugs” is topic to kick off the spring 2017 UT Science Forum January 27

Karen Vail, professor and extension urban entomologist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the UT Institute of Agriculture, will kick off the spring 2017 UT Science Forum with her presentation, “Bed Bugs: You Can Get Rid of Them,” Friday, January 27.

For nearly two decades bed bug populations have resurged in the United States and the world. They are considered the most challenging pest to control in homes. In her talk, Professor Vail will share will attendees the way to recognize all stages in the lives of bed bugs, how to prevent bringing them home, and the strategies needed to manage them.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, January 27 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Professor Corbetta Wraps Up Fall 2016 Science Forum with “How Do Infants Learn to Reach for Objects?”

corbetta-infants-reaching_11-18-16Daniela Corbetta, professor of psychology, will present “How Do Infants Learn to Reach for Objects?” at the final UT Science Forum meeting for the fall 2016 semester Friday, November 18.

The emergence of reaching in early infancy is a key developmental milestone. As infants begin to reach for objects, they begin to discover many features of objects and surroundings. In the last decades, our understanding of how infants learn to reach has changed dramatically. Professor Corbetta will highlight what we know today about how infants learn to reach for objects.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, November 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

“When Humans and Wildlife Collide” Topic for November 11 UT Science Forum Meeting

human-wildlife-collide_osborne_11-11-16Paul Osborne, owner of All Creatures Wildlife Services, will present “The Birthday Party Snake – When Humans and Wildlife Collide” at the next UT Science Forum meeting Friday, November 11.

As our population continues to sprawl, humans encroach on increasingly constricted areas for wildlife – increasing our likelihood of a wild encounter. In his presentation, Osborne will offer statistics, biology, and lots of stories to provide insight into a day in the life of a nuisance wildlife officer and a national perspective on our relation to wildlife.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, November 11 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

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