> Nerd Nite 58: CREATURE FEATURE

Nerd Nite 58: CREATURE FEATURE

This month we’re shifting back to life, but not necessarily back to reality. We’ll be learning about animals both real and fictive. As usual, doors will be at 7 and we’ll start at 8. Dollar cover.

Wednesday MARCH 8 at 8 PM Doors open at 7 PM
Maceli’s Banquet Hall & Catering
1031 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, Kansas 66044

The presentations:
The Biology of the Creatures in Star Wars, by Lucas Hemmer
The Star Wars movies are George Lucas’ vision about a story told over six movies (for better or worse) in another galaxy showing us different worlds, beings, and technology. Many fantastic and strange creatures are also introduced giving us a peak into these strange worlds. However, much about the weird aliens is based on real biology we see here on planet Earth. This talk will introduce these strange creatures from the movies and the biology that inspired their designs and characteristics.

The Circle of Life-Cycles: Parasitic Mind Control and the Weird Sex Lives of Worms, by Kaylee Herzog
Parasitic worms want what anyone wants: to grow up, have sex, and send the next generation out into the world successfully. While these objectives may seem rather unexceptional to us free-living animals, parasites are up against a “host” of unimaginable difficulties that can make getting it on successfully seem almost impossible. From host-switching and mind control to snail snot and bovine bile ducts, in “The Circle of Life-Cycles”, we’ll delve into the life histories of several parasitic worms and learn about what it takes to make it as a parasite.

Madagascar Tortoises by Ashley and Luke Welton

The presenters:

Lucas Hemmer is a graduate student in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department at KU specifically researching how genes for reproduction evolve in fruit flies. He grew up in the middle of a cornfield near You-Have-Never-Heard-of-This-Town, Nebraska with a population of 300 and graduated high school with 14 other people, half of whom were related to him. He went to college for a degree in Biology in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving to Lawrence five years ago. When he is not doing research or teaching at the university he is aimlessly reading stuff on the internet or eating too much food.

Kaylee Herzog is a New York native, but a happy Kansas transplant since she moved here to pursue a graduate degree three years ago. She completed her bachelor of science in biology at a State University of New York college in 2014, and is now a doctoral student at the University of Kansas studying the diversity and evolution of the parasites of sharks and stingrays. Outside of parasites, her passions include spending time outdoors, trying out new recipes, and pursuing good coffee and good beer.

Ashley and Luke Welton are life-long lovers of reptiles and amphibians (herps). They have decades of experience with the care and husbandry of captive herps, and have been active participants in a number of conservation initiatives for a variety of species. Prior to recently relocating to Lawrence, Ashley was the primary reptile keeper at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, where she played integral roles in conservation breeding programs for Boreal toads, Siamese crocodiles, and Madagascar tortoises. Ashley is currently a facility supervisor for laboratory animal research at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Luke is the collections manager for the Herpetology Division at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute. His research focuses on reptile and amphibian diversity in Southeast Asia, including the impact of trade in protected species like monitor lizards. Ashley and Luke are passionate about spreading positive conservation messages through education and engagement.

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