Virtual Science Café: Mapping Mammals, Avian Wingmen, and Life Through Mass ExtinctionsWebcasts & Online
Thursday, May 13, 2021, 5 – 6pm EDT
Join us for our final Virtual Science Café this programming year! We’ll take a look at the collections and exhibits we all miss visiting in person, the surprising resilience of shells through shifting climates and mass extinction events (and what we can learn from them), and the unusual mating behavior of wire-tailed manakin birds.
Set the stage at home for this virtual event with food and drink from Busboys and Poets, our local DC-area restaurant collaborator. Upon registration you'll receive an order link, and whether you're local or non-local you can shake up a themed drink to enjoy using a recipe provided by Busboys and Poets.
“Mapping Mammals: Museum Collections as Snapshots of the Past and Present” by Ingrid Rochon
Every museum specimen tells a story, and Ingrid Rochon's job as a museum technician in the Division of Mammals is to keep track of the who, what, when, and where for every one of its 600,000 specimens stored behind the scenes. By pulling together field notes, historic maps, and handwritten tags, specimen locality data helps scientists understand the distribution of life on earth and how ecosystems have changed over time. And the gaps on the map? By understanding the extent of our collections, scientists can pinpoint the places we have yet to explore.
“What Makes an Avian Wingman?” by Peri Bolton
Despite the competitive mating—and dating—world, male wire-tailed manakin birds help each other out to produce mating dance displays that enhance their chances of reproduction. Why does this occur, and what genes and brain regions are involved in producing this unusual behavior? In her talk, researcher Peri Bolton will explore the neural gene expression associated with cooperative mating display behavior in the wire-tailed manakin, and why they’re truly the best wingmen.
“Life Through Shifting Climates and Mass Extinctions in Ancient and Modern Seas” by Stewart Edie
While the past life of dinosaurs captures the curiosity of many, for paleobiologist Stewart Edie it’s how the seemingly unassuming clams—or bivalves—were living and thriving over the past half-billion years. In his talk, he’ll share recent work on how the shells of these spectacularly diverse and ancient animals are unlocking important insight into how biodiversity responds to climate change and mass extinction.
This program will be presented virtually via Zoom Webinar. A link will be emailed to all registrants.
Free. Registration is requested.
Online; Internet connection required