Past Science Lecture Series

2015/2016 Lectures

The Science of Hydration
September 25, 2015 @ 10:30am in SM313

Dr. Stacy Sims Exercise Physiologist-Nutrition Scientist, CISSN
Dr. Stacy Sims
Exercise Physiologist-Nutrition Scientist, CISSN

Founder & Chief Research Scientist, Osmo Nutrition

Drink to Thirst? Or have a strategic plan? What do you drink and how does that impact blood volume? Hydration is a complex topic, with even more complex physiology. Dr. Sims served as an exercise physiologist at Stanford University and specialized in recovery and nutritional adaptions for health and maximizing performance. In this lecture, Dr. Sims aim to discuss the main factors which affect fluid absorption, applications for drink to thirst vs. drink on a schedule, and dispel the myth that liquid calories are the best option to fuel and hydrate.

Evolution of Spider Silk
October 23, 2015 @ 10:30am in SM313

Dr. Cheryl HayashiCheryl Hayashi Professor and Vice Chair of Biology
Professor and Vice Chair of Biology
College of Natural &Agricultural Sciences

University of California, Riverside

Dr. Hayashi's research focus is on spider silks, which are among the most diverse and interesting of animal structural proteins. In addition to the huge diversity of spider taxa, each individual produces as many as seven distinct varieties of silk from a battery of specialized glands. The different silks serve different purposes, ranging from web construction and prey capture to courtship and nest-building. But what is really known about spider silks? In this lecture, Dr. Hayashi will share results from the latest discoveries about the evolution of spider silk, which spiders have held secret for several hundred million years.

More about the Hayashi Lab.

 

Animal Acoustics
November 20, 2015 @ 10:30am in SM313

hummingbirdDr. Christopher Clark
Assistant Professor of Biology
College of Natural &Agricultural Sciences
University of California, Riverside
 

In this lecture, Clark will educate the audience on animal acoustics, particularly the singing of feathers, humming of hummingbirds, and the silent flight of owls. Dr. Clark is an expert in animal flight, bioacoustics, biomechanics, and courtship displays. The Clark Laboratory studies courtship displays, how feathers and wings produce sound, and bird flight biomechanics, using hummingbirds as a model system. His team utilizes high-speed cameras and sound recording equipment for both field and lab work. Currently, Dr. Clark is building an aeroacoustic wind tunnel with a working section capable of flying hummingbirds and other small birds.

Visualizing the Human Immune System
February 5, 2016 @ 10:30am in SM313

Dr. Jennifer A. Prescher Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Jennifer A. Prescher
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
School of Physical Sciences

University of California, Irvine

The Prescher group aims to understand the complex interactions that underlie immune function by visualizing immune cells with various imaging probes. The lab focuses on the development of chemical tools and noninvasive imaging strategies to probe immune function. In this lecture, Dr. Prescher will tell of her groundbreaking studies that moves chemistry from the test tube into living subjects, illuminating the mechanisms employed by the immune system to combat disease. She will explain how researchers utilize a combination of chemical and biological techniques to equip cells with various imaging probes that are then used to track the movements, interactions, and functions of immune cells in whole organisms.

Evolution and Adaptation of Bacterial Genome
March 4, 2016 @ 10:30am in SM313

Dr. Stanley Maloy Dean, College of Sciences
Dr. Stanley Maloy
Dean, College of Sciences
Professor of Microbiology

San Diego State University
 
After earning a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California at Irvine, Stanley did postdoctoral work in Genetics at the University of Utah, then joined the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign faculty in 1984 where he was promoted through the ranks to Professor and Director of the Biotechnology Center. In August, 2002 he moved to San Diego State University as founding Director of the Center for Microbial Sciences and Professor of Biology. In this lecture, Dr. Maloy will discuss the research done in his lab that focuses on bacterial physiology, genetics, genomics, and the evolution of microbial pathogens. For more details on Dr. Maloy's research.

Unlocking Jupiter's Secrets - The Juno Project
April 1, 2016 @ 10:30am in SM313

Dr. Steven Levin Research Scientist, AstrophysicsDr. Steven Levin
Research Scientist, Astrophysics
Jet Propulsion Laboratory / NASA
California Institute of Technology

In this lecture, Dr. Levin will tell us all about the Juno project. Juno will fly to Jupiter and orbit its polar regions in order to understand the planet's gross size and structural properties, as well as measure Jupiter's atmospheric composition, temperature and deep wind profiles.
For more info: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/overview/index.html

 

Alien Oceans: the Habitable Worlds of our Solar System and Beyond
3 February 2017 @ 10:30 AM in SM 313

Dr. Michelle Thaller, Deputy Director of Science for Communication at NASA Headquarters

We are justifiably proud of the oceans of our planet, and indeed, Earth is the only world we know of with liquid water on its surface.  But even in our own solar system, we now know of three other worlds that have more liquid water (protected beneath layers of ice or rock) than the Earth has. Mars had vast oceans in the past, but has since become a dry, cold desert. Yet, liquid water may be hiding close to the surface or locked away as ice in massive glaciers.  In the past year, we have been shocked to discover evidence of liquid water on small, cold bodies like the dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres.  Looking farther out, we are beginning to glimpse planets around other stars with the right temperature and surface gravity to have oceans.  A driving question at NASA is whether any of these ocean worlds were habitable in the past, or may still harbor alien life today. Is alien life right in front of our noses, just waiting to be discovered? What is NASA doing to get to get ready to explore these places? Find out how Earth fits into a family of ocean worlds, and what this larger perspective tells us about our own future as a planet.

Predicting How the Stable-Isotope Compositions of a Variety of Elements are Affected by Common Chemical Reactions
3 March 2017 @ 10:30 AM in SM 313

Dr. Edwin Schauble, Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences at UCLA

Much of the development of modern Earth Science has been driven by a desire to answer two questions: How old? - and - How hot? The first question is the domain of geochronology, which uses the decay of radioactive isotopes (among other tools) to determine the ages of geological events. The second question has been studied in many ways, and is relevant to understanding climate change through time, including the growth and retreat of ice sheets, effects of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere, and the interplay between habitat conditions and life. Over the past 70 years, techniques for measuring temperatures using the stable (non-radioactive) isotopes of elements such as hydrogen and oxygen in natural materials have become the most robust and quantitative paleo-thermometers we have. In this talk the basic principles of stable isotope paleothermometry will be introduced. A particular focus will be on measurements of molecules containing more than one rare isotope, such as 13C18O16O22– in calcium carbonate, because these molecules can give direct information about their temperature of formation even when we don't know very much about what kind of environment they formed in. This means that we can try to answer 'How hot?' for shells from the ocean, and also for samples from lakes, soils and even from other planets.
 

Are Nutrition and Hydration Requirements Different for Female and Male Athletes?
20 April 2017 @ 7:00 PM in SM 313

  Dr. Stacy T. Sims, Environmental Exercise Physiology and Senior Research Fellow at University of Waikato, New Zealand

Dr. Stacy Sims is an environmental exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at The University of Waikato specializing in sex differences in how the athlete’s body adapts to heat and/or altitude stress, recovery, genetics, and nutrition.  Factors (fitness, sex differences and aging) that affect the major physiological systems that are of interest to the Sims Laboratory include fluid balance, thermoregulation, neuro-endocrine interactions, and non-pharmaceutical interventions.  Dr. Sims is currently researching and applying practical sport science to elite professional athletes: implementing specific cooling and heat adaptation strategies, hydration practices, and overall nutrition to improve performance outcomes and overall health.  Additionally, she is researching and applying modifications of elite athletic practice to aid obese sedentary individuals in improving exercise tolerance and overall clinical outcomes.  Dr. Sims is the author of numerous scientific journal articles, a regular speaker at professional and scientific conferences and the author of ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life.