Nerd Nite 3.0

Nerd Nite 3.0

Details to follow, but here’s the first photo! From the lovely Karen Rugamas.

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Speaking on Wednesday, April 16

Speaking on Wednesday, April 16

I hope you can come and check out my talk!

Let’s talk about sex – plant sex! Compared to the world of seed plants, human sex lives are relatively “vanilla”. Sessile, and separated by metres or miles, plant partners usually need assistance to reproduce sexually. This dependence on external collaborators has created extraordinary reproductive strategies including sensory trickery towards animals, releasing pollen en masse (how messy!), and even the frustratingly lonely self-fertilization. Over thousands and millions of years, these strategies have evolved, ensuring species resilience, genetic diversity, and survival in dramatically challenging landscapes. Discover how plants manipulate, trick, and use tools to help in the need to create seeds.

Bio: Nicole Balsdon currently works at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC; she loves spreading her passion for science to people of all ages, particularly the messy world of biology. When she isn’t getting strangely close to plants, she enjoys cooking and baking, most notably convincing yeast and other microbes to work on beverages and breads in her kitchen. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, and has worked for Alberta Environment and the U of A Herbarium.

The Power of Poop!

It seems that my bizarre obsession with poop is well-founded. Whale poop fertilizes the oceans, and helps their food grow!

Its funny what we take for granted on the surface (manuring to enrich soil for crops), and don’t think about it underwater until someone studies it and spells it out.