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April 27, 2018
Presented by Dr. Eric Newman, Neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota, given at the Bryant Lake Bowl on January 16th, 2018. The brain is composed of two types of cells, neurons, and glial cells. Neurons generate electrical signals and communicate with each other by releasing chemicals at synapses. Glial cells don’t do these things and, for the past century, were thought to be unimportant support cells. Recent experiments, however, have shown that glial cells actively participate in such essential brain functions as regulating synaptic signaling, forming new memories, and controlling the delivery of nutrients to active brain areas. Join us to learn about glial cells – the other brain. The Bell Museum's Café Scientifique is a happy hour exchange of ideas about science, environment and popular culture that features experts from a variety of fields on diverse and often provocative topics. In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Café! It runs September to May, 7 PM every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.wpengine.com/cabaret-theater/
April 27, 2018
Presented by Dr. Michelle Carstensen of the Minnesota DNR, at the Bryant Lake Bowl on December 21st, 2017. Dr. Michelle Carstensen discusses the attempt through scientific research to understand the dramatic decline in the Minnesota moose population. The Bell Museum's Café Scientifique is a happy hour exchange of ideas about science, environment and popular culture that features experts from a variety of fields on diverse and often provocative topics. In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Café! It runs September to May, 7PM every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.wpengine.com/cabaret-theater/
April 18, 2018
Visit https://youtu.be/_qR9ROo5kiw for a video of this episode! Presented by Jeremiah A. Henning, post-doctoral research associate in the department Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, at the Bryant Lake Bowl on November 11th, 2017. Although they are an invisible group of soil-dwelling organisms, mycorrhizal fungi are critical to the maintenance of plant diversity, plant productivity, and the storage of carbon in soils. Mycorrhizal fungi likely hold the key to how ecosystems will respond to global change. For my talk, I will introduce the audience to the group of fungi I study, Glomeromycota, then briefly introduce a couple of the classic studies demonstrating the important links between fungal diversity, plant diversity, productivity, and soil carbon. Once I lay this groundwork, I will transition into how these fungi may shape ecosystem response to global change, talking very generally about the carbon cycle and a few of my past and current research projects. I am currently a post-doctoral research associate in the department Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. I recently relocated back to the Midwest after completing my Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee. Overall, my research focuses on understanding patterns that maintain global biodiversity and how contemporary global change is reshaping biodiversity. Although my research has taken me from tropical rainforests to mountain tops, and up to the arctic tundra permafrost, the tall grass prairie always holds a place in my heart, and I will focus most of my talk on work that has been conducted in a Tallgrass prairie near Eau Claire, WI. The Bell Museum's Café Scientifique is a happy hour exchange of ideas about science, environment and popular culture that features experts from a variety of fields on diverse and often provocative topics. In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Café! It runs September to May, 7PM every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://www.bryantlakebowl.com/theater...
October 10, 2017
"Political Science" given by Representative Phyllis Kahn on September 9th, 2017 at the Bryant Lake Bowl, hosted by the Bell Museum. "September will kick off the 2017-2018 season with former MN DFL Representative Phyllis Kahn speaking on the topic of science and politics, specifically the question of how to integrate science into public policy decision-making. Learn more about Phyllis Kahn here: https://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2017/06/how-do-we-integrate-science-public-policy-decision-making "
August 16, 2017
Visit: https://youtu.be/oXMWp9GK6zA for a video of this episode! "Bringing Biology to Biomimetics" given by Emilie Snell-Rood, an Associate Professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. "The field of biomimetics seeks to solve problems from energy production to cancer by looking to how organisms have solved similar problems over evolutionary time. But the majority of engineers, material scientists and others using these approaches do not directly collaborate with biologists. We have barely scratched the surface of biological inspiration, and in order to use this approach more powerfully, we need to dive deeper into biological diversity. Emilie Snell-Rood is an Associate Professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Her research considers how organisms deal with environmental variation, from the evolution of learning to reactions to novel toxins. She has developed an interdisciplinary course on biomimetics that brings together students from diverse fields to tackle real-world problems using bioinspiration."
August 1, 2017
Visit: https://youtu.be/lxyiMKWqfYI for a video of this episode! "Crocodilian Superdads-Gharial on the Chambal River in North India" given by Dr. Jeff Lang Conservation Biologist, UMN Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the Bryant Lake Bowl on March 18th, 2017. "In India, people and wildlife live together, side-by-side, and have for thousands of years. Conservation biologist Dr. Jeff Lang (UMN Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology) has traveled to rugged, “bandit” country in north India since 2008 to investigate the secret lives of gharial. This crocodilian species is a specialized fish-eater, growing to 18+ feet in length, that is critically endangered but survives today by moving hundreds of miles each year with the monsoon, up and down large rivers. Jeff’s recent work is revealing that gharials show extraordinary care for their young, guarding hundreds of hatchlings from predators, and exhibit complex social behaviors, not known in other reptiles. His talk will feature video clips of gharial behaviors, and highlight the challenges and adventures of working and living with wildlife and people in modern-day India."
July 14, 2017
"Hunting Knowledge & Gathering Herbs-Rastafari Bush Doctors in South Africa" given by Lisa Aston Philander, Curator of the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory & Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the Bryant Lake Bowl on March 21st, 2017. "Lisa's research focuses on traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa where she examined the trade of phytomedicines and developed community-based programming to conserve and grow endangered plant species. You can learn more about Lisa's work in Roots to Healing: A brief survey of the past, present and future of plant-based remedies in Minnesota, on display starting March 9 at Northrop Auditorium."
July 6, 2017
Visit: https://youtu.be/wC4zp0jdo9Q for a video of this episode! "Forest Keepers: Science, Spirituality & Conservation among the Batak Tribe" given by J. Scott Dodds, filmmaker & ethnographer at the Bryant Lake Bowl on February 21th, 2017. "Scott Dodds is an award-winning ethnographic filmmaker. For the past 20 years, he has worked with anthropologists and environmentalists in following the Batak, a gather-hunter group in the Philippines. Batak live in fear of vengeful forest spirits who take retribution on anyone who doesn't respect the forest or wastes its resources. As a result, they have developed not only a highly detailed knowledge of the natural environment but also techniques for harvesting forest products sustainably. This has not been lost on environmental scientists, who are working with the Batak to conserve the forest while protecting them from commercial forest harvesters and encroaching farmers."
June 28, 2017
"The Beautiful Problem of Turbulence" presented by Sam Stewart, Ph.D. Candidate in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, at the Bryant Lake Bowl on January 17th, 2017. "What do golf balls, whales, and airplanes have in common? They all struggle with one of the oldest and most difficult problems in physics and mathematics: turbulence. Turbulence is a bizarre and beautiful phenomenon that occurs when substances like water and air flow really fast. Most people are familiar with turbulence during air travel, but the problem is much bigger and impacts fields as diverse as national defense, NASCAR, and oil. It's so complicated that even our most powerful super-computers choke on the calculations. During the last century, mathematicians have arrived on the scene and struggled to verify if our core model is correct. What makes turbulence so hard and why should we care about understanding it? Join Sam Stewart, a Ph.D. student in mathematics studying fluid dynamics at the University of Minnesota, as he shares the story of one of our most fundamental and fascinating natural phenomena."
June 21, 2017
Visit: https://youtu.be/bng-Ki2Jpxc for a video of this episode! "Moving Minnesota: Re-inventing the Bell Museum Dioramas" presented by our own Don Luce, Curator of Exhibits here at the Bell Museum + Planetarium, at the Bryant Lake Bowl on December 20th, 2016. "Don Luce, curator of exhibits, will take you through the history and artistry behind the Bell Museum's world famous wildlife dioramas, as well as how they will be reinterpreted in the new museum and planetarium on the St. Paul campus in 2018."
May 17, 2017
Visit: https://youtu.be/bng-Ki2Jpxc for a video of this episode! "What Should a Clever Moose Eat? Natural History, Ecology, and the North Woods" presented by Dr. John Pastor at the Bryant Lake Bowl on November 11th, 2016.
October 31, 2016
Visit: https://youtu.be/-fdg5OoSA0o for a video of this episode! "The Fungi Around Us: Diversity, Ecology and Industrial Applications" presented by Dr. Kathryn Bushley & Kat Sweeney at the Bryant Lake Bowl on October 18th, 2016.
October 25, 2016
"The Dazzling Dr. Spillhaus" presented by Sharon Moen at the Bryant Lake Bowl on September 20th, 2016. Here's a description of the talk: "Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus was dean of the Institute of Technology (now College of Science & Engineering) at the University of Minnesota, founder of the National Sea Grant program, inventor of the skyway system and bathythermograph (drawings of which grace the Scholars Walk at the U), and author of the "Our New Age" comic strip that ran weekly for 20 years in newspapers around the world to delight and inspire 5 million readers with a focus on science. Presenter Sharon Moen, communications coordinator for Minnesota Sea Grant and author of "With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future", will regale us with stories of Spilhaus' many contributions to science, policy and even public art."
October 25, 2016
"Toxicology in the 21st Century" presented by Dr. Dalma Martinovic-Weigelt, who studies aquatic toxicology at St. Thomas University (Ph.D. Fisheries Science, University of Minnesota). In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Cafe! It runs September to May, every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.com/theater/caf%C3%A9-scientifique
October 24, 2016
Visit: https://youtu.be/cx1OclE9EMM for a video of this episode! "Bats, Whitenose Fungus, Chikungunya and Parasite Vectors of Disease." Presented by Dr. Luis Escobar. Dr. Escobar's research interests include macroecology and ecological niche modeling. Using climate and remote sensing data, he aims to investigate areas of potential invasion of micro (disease) and macro species. His goal is to validate tools and theory from invasion biology into disease ecology to enhanced the field of spatial epidemiology. He also assesses methods and variables for assertive predictions of biological invasions in Minnesota freshwater ecosystems at coarse and fine geographic scales. In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Cafe! It runs September to May, every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.com/theater/caf%C3%A9-scientifique
October 18, 2016
Visit: https://youtu.be/x-PLi4gBmqY for a video of this episode! "The Physics of Confections Cotton Candy, Soft Cookies, and Brittle Crackers." Presented by Dr. Ted Labuza from the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ted Labuza Labuza is known internationally as one of the top experts on kinetics of reactions related to loss in food quality, nutrient degradation and pathogen growth and death kinetics. He is also well known for his teaching and is the author or co-author of over 289 scientific refereed research articles, 18 textbooks, 78 book chapters, eight patents and more than 100 other semi-technical articles. Research behind The Physics of Confections was conducted by his three children when they were 7th and 8th graders at St John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton and published in a food science textbook in a chapter authored by Labuza, Labuza, Labuza and Labuza. In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Cafe! It runs September to May, every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.com/theater/caf%C3%A9-scientifique
September 21, 2016
Café Scientifique with Juli Ponder, D.V.M., "Invasive Vertebrates vs. Island Endemics: Who Will Be Voted off the Island?" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 12-15-15. "Dr. Ponder is the executive director of the University of Minnesota’s renowned Raptor Center, and is an expert in the wildlife component of ecosystem health (specifically raptors). She has participated in the wildlife restoration projects involving Galapagos hawks in the Galapagos Islands, which will be the topic of her Café Scientifique presentation."
April 12, 2016
Visit: https://youtu.be/yXzGxRgCv-8 for a video of this episode! "Tiny Worlds Revealed: Microscopy using light and other energy to make hidden biologies visible. Presented by Dr. Gail Celio from University Imaging Centers at University of Minnesota." In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Cafe! It runs September to May, every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.com/theater/caf%C3%A9-scientifique
February 29, 2016
Visit: https://youtu.be/ftljSAAlIKQ for a video of this episode! Café Scientifique with Dr. Michael Reidy, "Mountains and Minds - Verticality and the Rise of Modern Science." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 01-19-16. "Dr. Reidy examines the history of British science and the mountaineering in the age of empire with a discussion of seven different sciences on seven different mountain ranges around the world, focusing on his citizen science project in the Swiss Alps." In the Twin Cities area? Join us for our monthly Cafe! It runs September to May, every third Tuesday of the month at the Bryant Lake Bowl: http://bryantlakebowl.com/theater/caf%C3%A9-scientifique
December 2, 2015
Visit: https://youtu.be/0kqVwNEzE10 for a video of this episode! Café Scientifique with Patrick Nunnally, "Myths and Meanings of the Big River." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 11-17-15. "Patrick Nunnally of the University of Minnesota’s River Life program will talk about his work integrating Mississippi River sustainability with historical frameworks, contemporary mythologies, and culturally sensitive resource planning."
October 29, 2015
Visit: https://youtu.be/4kEuEh-7CGo for a video of this episode! Café Scientifique with Dr. Adam Boyko, "2015.10.20 Evolution Unleashed-The Making of the Dog." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 10-20-15. "Before they domesticated cats, cows, chickens, corn, wheat, rice or anything else, humans domesticated dogs. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that dogs domesticated themselves by deciding to hang around humans to gain food and protection. Even in ancient times, some dogs were selected to be herders, hunters, and fighters, and the descendants of some of the breeds are still with us today. But, the majority of the world’s dogs today do not fulfill these specialized roles and instead live as semi-feral scavengers known as “village dogs.” The Adam Boyko Laboratory at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is focused on genomic investigation of dogs as a model of genetic disease and evolutionary genetics, to better understand how the forces of natural and artificial selection have shaped the domestic dog genome and the genetic architecture underlying the tremendous diversity we see in dogs today."
October 14, 2015
Visit: https://youtu.be/sUftrZubXYU for a YouTube video of this episode! Café Scientifique with Lois Hendrickson and Emily Beck, "Bodies and Spirits: Health and the History of Fermentation and Distillation." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 09-15-15. "For centuries, science and industry, along with alewives and brewers, have developed techniques using and modifying life forms like yeast, molds, and bacteria, to create a host of new therapies and produce better foods and beverages. From 16th-century handwritten recipes for beer and wine to Louis Pasteur’s groundbreaking microbial investigations of fermentation, this exhibit explores the historical health and medical relevance of beer, wine, spirits and more. Join exhibit developers from the U of M’s Wangensteen Historical Library in an exploration connecting the growing community of scholars, commercial brewers and distillers, agriculture scientists, and amateur enthusiasts to this exciting history."
May 22, 2015
Café Scientifique with Dr. Jonathan Slaght, "Feathered Ghosts: The Fish-Eating Owls of Northeast Asia." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 05-19-15. "'Feathered Ghosts: The Fish-Eating Owls of Northeast Asia,' with Dr. Jonathan Slaght, who works for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia Program. Dr. Slaght describes his research into the secret lives of endangered Blakiston’s fish owls – massive, shy creatures that prey mostly on salmon – and explains how the divergent economies of Russia and Japan (where these birds are found) have influenced their conservation."
April 24, 2015
Café Scientifique with Dr. Chick Woodward, "Earth 2.0: Habitable Exoplanets?" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 04-21-15. "'Earth 2.0: Habitable Exoplanets?' with Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics professor Chick (Charles) Woodward. Dr. Woodward prefers to think of the title for this upcoming Café as 'Earth 2.0+.' Why? According to Dr. Woodward, that will be the start of his narrative arc: 'There are lots of ‘mirror Earths,’ but like the midway at the State Fair, the view depends on the mirror you are using.' Intrigued? Join us to discover the meaning behind Dr. Woodward’s cipher, and the significance it holds for the future of life in the Universe."
March 19, 2015
Café Scientifique with Journalist Doug Fine and Professor George Weiblen, "Hemp's Return to Humanity" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 03-17-15. "Journalist Doug Fine and professor George Weiblen discuss whether hemp is the game-changing plant that’s going to feed the world and free us from fossil fuels while putting small farmers back to work. Hemp has strong fibers, nutritious seed oil and untapped potential as an alternative energy source. Fine published 'Hemp Bound' in 2014, a book that has been called 'a blueprint for the future of America,' and Weiblen is an expert in popular genetics, including Cannabis genetics."
February 18, 2015
Edit: Danielle would like to correct something from the Q&A - "The estimate for venom volume was way off! Should be between 0.1mL and 1mL, I get it from them in diluted form, which is why my estimate was so big." Café Scientifique with Professor Sharon Jansa and her grad student Danielle Drabeck, "Natural Toxins: Why We Care and Why the Honey Badger Don't." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 02-17-15. "Bell Museum curator of mammals Sharon Jansa and her intrepid grad student Danielle Drabeck have spent the last couple of years examining the evolution of resistance to snake venom in mammals, and are about to publish a new paper on the evolution of resistance to snake venom in honey badgers. They will introduce us to anthropological/cultural interpretations of toxins through a scientific lens, and explain how the honey badger's adaptations help researchers use biochemistry and evolutionary biology to better understand interspecific interactions and evolution itself."
January 22, 2015
Café Scientifique with Professor Evan Skillman, "The PHAT Map: Hubble’s Legacy." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 01-20-15. Check out our video interview of Evan: http://youtu.be/WhNo7ILN8-g "Andromeda’s stars, along with their ancestors and descendants (e.g., molecular clouds, HII regions, supernova remnants, etc.) can help us see and understand what galaxies are made of, providing opportunities for vast advances in the foundation on which all knowledge of the Universe is based. In 2007, the Space Telescope Science Institute asked scientists to propose “awesome, but crazy” projects that the Hubble Space Telescope could undertake as it aged – multi-year enterprises too massively complex to consider in Hubble’s earlier years – that would be just the sort of legacy the telescope ought to leave behind. University of Minnesota astrophysicist Dr. Evan Skillman will explain how the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) fits that bill. Evan Skillman has been a Professor of Astronomy at the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics and the University of Minnesota since 1989. His research interests lie in extragalactic observational astronomy, with specialties in the chemical evolution of galaxies, structure and evolution of dwarf galaxies, HII Region abundances, star formation, cluster galaxies, and Big Bang nucleosynthesis. Dr. Skillman’s research is featured in the Bell Museum’s current exhibit."
December 23, 2014
Check out the YouTube version of this to see all of the wonderful images in the presentation: http://youtu.be/c9y64QHCa4o Café Scientifique with Tim Quady, "Museum Diorama Design and Fabrication." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 12-16-14. "Tim Quady, owner of Blue Rhino Studio in Eagan, will present the process of designing and fabricating museum exhibits, including huge, long-extinct creatures such as mammoths and short faced bears. Taken together, the November and December Cafes are a two-part mini-series on visioning/recreating the Pleistocene through science and art. Blue Rhino Studio specializes in interpretive design and artistic fabrication for museum, visitor center, and zoological environments. Working in a wide range of styles to create diverse exhibits that include sculpture, mural, carpentry and metal work, Blue Rhino has become a leader for artistic quality and value the industry."
November 19, 2014
Café Scientifique with Professor David Fox, "The Lives and Times of Ice Age Mammoths and Mastodons." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 11-19-14. "Mammoths and mastodons are among the most well known species of the North American and Eurasian megafauna, and comparisons by Georges Cuvier in the early 19th century of their bones to those of the African and Asian elephants established the concept of species extinction. This talk will describe how contemporary paleontologists study the anatomy, ecology, and behavior of these emblematic fossil elephants using microscopes, isotopes, and CT scanners. David Fox’s research focuses on the roles of climate and habitat change on the evolution of ecosystems over geological timescales. His projects use the stable isotope geochemistry of sedimentary rocks, fossils, and modern animals and the morphology of teeth to reconstruct aspects of the diet of extinct mammals, including mammoths and mastodons, as well as aspects of their environment. He received his PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1999 and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2001."
November 6, 2014
Café Scientifique with Professor Michel Janssen, "Einstein: The Old Sage and the Young Turk." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 10-21-14. See the video at http://youtu.be/kVFyYrvXGvg "Drawing on his work for the Einstein Papers Project and his collaborations with scholars at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, Dr. Michel Janssen will explain, in layperson's terms, the scientific methodology behind the spectacular successes of the young Einstein (special and general relativity and early contributions to quantum theory). He will then show how some of Einstein's personal experiences during World War I played a key role in making the older Einstein adopt a very different methodology, one no longer driven by empirical data but by mathematical elegance. This Café Scientifique promises to be an entertaining mix of history, philosophy, and physics. Dr. Michel Janssen has long been interested in making the results of his research on the history and philosophy of modern physics accessible to a broader audience. A Professor in the Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Janssen has been offering a popular seminar called Einstein for Everyone. He is also one of the editors of The Cambridge Companion to Einstein which likewise aims at a broad audience."
October 13, 2014
Café Scientifique with Professor Andrew Simons, "Carp and Culture." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 09-16-14. "The relationships between humans and carp are complex and surprisingly varied in different cultures around the world. In North America, carp are despised as ravenous invasive pests that destroy habitat for fishes, ducks and other organisms. Yet in China, Japan, Britain, and Eastern Europe, the carp is cultured for food, raised as expensive pets, revered as a symbol of perseverance and strength, sought-after as game fish, and served as a prized delicacy on the most special of occasions. Tonight, Professor Andrew Simons will discuss the biology, aquaculture, and control of carp in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, while exploring the cultural importance and symbolism of carp in art and folklore across the globe. Presenter: Andrew Simons is an Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. He is also Curator of Fishes in the Bell Museum of Natural History. He is interested in the evolution of carps, minnows, and blennies, as well as the effects of Pleistocene glaciations on distribution and population structure of North American freshwater fishes."
May 29, 2014
Café Scientifique with Professor Scott Lanyon, "Birds, Evolution, and the Tree of Life" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 05-20-14. "From Darwin's finches to the last passenger pigeon, the relationship between humans and birds has been by turns eye-opening, complicated, mysterious, instructive and deadly. Prof. Scott Lanyon will be speaking on how keen observation of our feathered "frenemies" helps provide the foundation for phylogenetic systematics—the way biologists reconstruct the pattern of events that have led to the distribution and diversity of life. Lanyon is the former director of the Bell Museum, and is currently head of the department of ecology, evolution and behavior in the College of Biological Sciences. He held positions at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in addition to serving on the boards of several national science organizations. Lanyon is past Vice President of the American Ornithologists’ Union."
April 18, 2014
Café Scientifique with Dr Marla Spivak, "Our Disappearing Bees" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 04-15-14. "Over the years, honey bees have faced a series of devastating problems, including a witches' brew of diseases, parasites and pesticides that together contribute to the mass honey bee die-off known as colony collapse disorder. Now, a relatively new class of insecticides that affect the central nervous system of insects is pushing the pollinator crisis to the edge, while researchers like Marla Spivak race to discover the causes and consequences of our disappearing bees. Dr. Spivak is an entomologist and professor at the University of Minnesota, whose interest in bees began when she worked for a commercial beekeeper from New Mexico in 1975. She later completed her B.A. in Biology from Humboldt State University in northern California, and her PhD from the University of Kansas, under Dr. Orley "Chip" Taylor, in 1989. She spent two years in Costa Rica conducting her thesis research on the identification and ecology of Africanized and European honey bees. From 1989-1992 she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona. She began as Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in 1993. Influenced by Martha Gilliam and Steve Taber from the USDA Bee lab in Tucson, she became interested in hygienic behavior of honey bees. This interest has expanded into studies of "social immunity", including the benefits of propolis to the immune system of honey bees, and to the health and diversity of all bee pollinators. Dr. Spivak received the prestigious "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2010."
March 25, 2014
Café Scientifique with Tony Thompson, "Conservation Ethic in Modern Agriculture" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 03-18-14. "Thompson is a farmer and philosopher who notably appeared in Bell Museum's Emmy award winning documentaries 'Troubled Waters' and 'Minnesota: A History of the Land.' In acknowledgement of agriculture scientist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and University of Minnesota alumnus Dr. Norman Borlaug's 100th birthday, he will be sharing his insights into the Green Revolution '2.0,' including his expert perspective on contentious industrial-scale GMO crops such as soybeans and corn, and the conservation ethic in modern technological agriculture."
February 26, 2014
Café Scientifique with Clement Pryke, "Microwave Background-Basking in the Afterglow of the Big Bang" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 02-18-14. "Cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the after glow from early times when the Universe was a smooth hot plasma. By studying the CMB we can learn much about the origin, contents and ultimate fate of the Universe; indeed, CMB studies are at the center of the current "golden age" of cosmology."
January 30, 2014
Café Scientifique with Dr. Claudia Scarlata, "Galaxy Formation and the Reionization of the Universe" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 01-21-14.
December 20, 2013
Café Scientifique with Dr. David Stephens, "Bird Brains: Decision-Making, Experimental Games, and the Evolution of Learning in Blue Jays" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 12-17-13. "Dr. Stephens' research blends mathematical and experimental analyses to address a range of issues in behavioral ecology, especially feeding behavior and cooperation. Using psychological techniques and experimental games such as the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Stephens Lab at the University of Minnesota analyzes blue jay behaviors to create evolutionary models of learning, memory, decision-making, and other cognitive phenomena most often associated with the human mind."
December 2, 2013
Café Scientifique with Marlene Zuk, "Sex on Six Legs - Insect Behavior, Evolutionary Biology and Sexual Selection" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 11-19-13. "How is it that insects, with their robotic demeanor and stripped-down biological toolbox, are able to accomplish so many of the same functions as humans? Tonight, evolutionary biologist Dr. Marlene Zuk gives us an account of the social behavior (and yes, the sex lives) of ants, crickets, bees, and other insects, illuminating the fact that many of the things we think of as setting humans apart--personality, learning, language--aren't so extraordinary after all. Marlene Zuk is a biologist and writer who recently moved from California to the Twin Cities, where she is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. She studies sex and evolution in animals from insects to birds, and is interested in how people draw parallels between human and animal behavior. Zuk’s research has taken her around the world, in particular to Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific. Her books include Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn About Sex from Animals; Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites that Make Us Who We Are; Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love, and Language from the Insect World; and Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live. She also writes for many popular outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and Natural History magazine, and has been interviewed on radio shows ranging from The Splendid Table to Fresh Air."
October 28, 2013
Café Scientifique with Sharon Stiteler AKA The Birdchick, "Birding for These Modern Times" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 10-15-13. "Sharon Stiteler is the author of three books and the enormously popular Birdchick blog. She keeps bees with Neil Gaiman (and photographs birds in his backyard,) and travels 40 weeks of the year to spy on birds all over the world. 
During one of her rare stints at home in Minnesota, and hot on the heels of a multi-week European birding trek, Stiteler will visit Café Scientifique. Her presentation will be based on her latest book, 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know, and geared toward experienced birders as well as novices and the bird-curious alike." www.birdchick.com
September 25, 2013
Café Scientifique with Dr Craig Packer, "The Short and Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 09-17-13. Check out video of the talk with powerpoint: http://youtu.be/xm8XIRo8b-s "One of the most fearsome and charismatic animals on the planet, lions have long been of great fascination to humans. But for all their so-called ferociousness, their existence is in peril. Craig Packer studies lions' evolutionary traits and their complex social structure—while working with the people of Africa— to ensure their survival. Packer was recently featured in the August 2013 National Geographic feature, The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion."
August 20, 2013
Café Scientifique with Mary Meyer, "Top Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota" Hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and recorded at the Golden Nugget on 08-15-13. Dr. Mary Meyer, Professor and Extension Horticulturist at the University of Minnesota will talk about the 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota, website: http://top10plantsmn.org/
July 16, 2013
Café Scientifique with Peter Moe, "A "100+ Years of Cold-Hardy Apples and Grape Breeding" Hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and recorded at the School of the Wise II Bistro & Wine Bar on 07-10-13. Peter Moe, director of operations and research at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, will share insights and information on more than a century of cold-hardy apples—honeycrisp too, and grape breeding.
June 19, 2013
Café Scientifique with the director of the Bell Museum, Dr Susan Weller, "A Bug's-Eye View of the Garden" Hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and recorded at the Golden Nugget on 06-12-13. Susan Weller is the director of the Bell Museum and is an expert in Entomology.
May 22, 2013
Café Scientifique with Dr Paul Weiblen, "Under the Surface: A Geologist's Take on Sulfide Mining Near the BWCAW" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 05-21-13. "Paul Weiblen is a Professor Emeritus in Geology & Geophysics, University of Minnesota."
April 17, 2013
Café Scientifique with Paul Porter, "From Buenos Aires to Peru: An Up-Close Look at Agroecology in South America" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 03-19-13. "Paul Porter is a cycle-trekker, adventurer, and Professor in Agronomy & Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota."
March 20, 2013
Café Scientifique with Mark Seeley "Climate Change & Drought in Minnesota" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 03-19-13.
February 20, 2013
Café Scientifique with Jay Bell, "The Dirt Beneath Our Feet: A History of Soils & Societies" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 02-19-13. **I've decided to stick with the higher-bitate**
January 16, 2013
Café Scientifique with John Sheehan, "How to Ethically Feed and Fuel Nine Billion People (in 4 Easy Steps)" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 01-15-13. **Sorry for the larger filesize, because of audio issues, we went with a higher bitrate**
December 21, 2012
Café Scientifique with Sarah Komperud and David Hahn, "The Visible Universe: An Audience-Driven Tour of the Cosmos" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 12-18-12. Here is the description offered for the talk: "Join astronomer Parke Kunkle and Bell Museum planetarium educators Sarah Komperud and David Hahn on a virtual journey to the edge of the known universe. We’re bringing the Bell ExploraDome's dynamic Uniview visualization software back to Bryant Lake Bowl for this one-of-a-kind interactive experience. From stars, planets, quasars, and nebulae, to the afterglow of the Big Bang - tonight, you are in the driver’s seat as Sarah, David, and Parke customize a cosmic safari guided by real-time questions and interests from the audience."
November 21, 2012
Café Scientifique with Dr. Priscilla Cushman, on "Dark Matter: Seeing the Invisible Universe" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 11-20-12. Here is the description offered for the talk: "We used to think we understood what everything was made of, from the quarks inside protons and neutrons to the stars and galaxies. We call this the Standard Model. However, over the last couple decades, it has become obvious that a class of new elementary particles (called dark matter) make up 80% of the stuff of the Universe. Tonight, Dr. Priscilla Cushman will talk about what dark matter is, why we think it is there, and how we might detect it here on Earth, as we pass through the cloud of dark matter that makes up most of our galaxy. Dr. Cushman graduated A.B. cum laude in Physics and Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976, and earned her Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers University in 1985. She is a member of the faculty of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. Her research is in particle physics, most recently as co-spokesman of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search currently running in the Soudan Mine in northern Minnesota."
October 26, 2012
Café Scientifique with Roger Rusack, on "Forces of Nature: Particle Physics and the Discovery of the Higgs Boson" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 10-16-12. Here is the description of the talk: "So we found the Higgs…but what does it mean? University of Minnesota physics professor Roger Rusack designed the electromagnetic calorimeter that helped detect the elusive Higgs particle for the first time this past July. Tonight, Professor Rusack will place this discovery in the context of major advances in physics over the last century, explaining how we currently understand the basic mechanisms of the physical world and addressing some intriguing questions that remain unanswered. From his unique insider’s perspective, Professor Rusack will describe the whole enterprise of finding the Higgs – from the technical challenges to the complex sociology of international science – and lead a discussion of what it means to have found a particle predicted in theory some forty years ago. Why is it important today? Professor Rusack has been a member of the UM faculty since 1993 and since graduate school has been working in the field of High Energy Particle Physics. Born in London, educated at Liverpool University and Imperial College London, he did his graduate work at the Fermi National Accelerator near Chicago. Equipped with a PhD he joined Columbia University working with Professor Leon Lederman (Nobel Prize 1988) on measurements to probe the new ideas of quantum chromodynamics. Later moving to Rockefeller University he worked at CERN measuring the internal structure of the proton. He returned to the US in 1988 (in his own 34' sailing boat) to work on the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), to design and build an experiment that could find the Higgs and other new physics that might be accessible at the highest energies. Professor Rusack was part of the team that designed and built the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a scaled down version of the SSC, at CERN. The fruition of this effort was the observation this year of the Higgs, or a Higgs-like particle, in data collected at an energy of 8 tera-electron volts."
September 20, 2012
Café Scientifique with Dr. Robert Zink, on "Chronic Wasting Disease and the Future of Minnesota's White-tailed Deer" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 09-18-12. Here is the description of the talk: "What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)? How do deer get it and how it is transmitted? Can it be treated? Does it affect people? Are game farms the culprit? What could we do and are we doing it, could it wipe out our deer herd? Our featured presenter, Dr. Robert Zink, will be there to answer all these questions and more for an evening of intelligent conversation about the state of the deer population, and their future outlook. Dr. Zink is a professor of ecology, evolution and behavior, and Breckenridge Chair in Ornithology at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. He has studied birds scientifically for almost four decades and has recently been studying CWD."
May 18, 2012
Café Scientifique with Dr. Lee Frelich, on "Large Scale Disasters in the Waters Canoe Area Wilderness" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 05-15-12. Here is the description of the talk: "From large-scale wind and fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to the invasion of European earthworms - if it effects forests, Dr. Lee Frelich has answers! Frelich is our special guest at this evening's Café Scientifique "Fire & Disturbance: Ecology in the Northern Forest."
April 23, 2012
Café Scientifique with Professor Raymond Rogers, on "Killer Climates: How Hard Times Make for Great Fossils" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 04-17-12. Here is the description of the talk: "Global climate change may be the hottest topic of the current epoch, but tonight’s presentation will usher us back through deep time, to explore the history of climate change and its effects on life from the very beginning. First, we will learn about some of the ways that geologists are able to reconstruct climate; then, Professor Raymond Rogers of Macalester College will take us on a journey to ancient Madagascar, to discover how killer climates played a key role in dinosaur mass mortality. Professor Rogers is a sedimentary geologist and paleontologist from Macalester College, who spends his time studying how the fossils that many of us find so fascinating make it into the rock record. He is particularly interested in how mass accumulations of fossils such as shell beds and bonebeds develop. Professor Rogers’ research has taken him and his students to various fantastic fossil graveyards around the world, and he has ongoing projects in Argentina, Montana, and Madagascar. His work on the preservation of fossils and aspects of dinosaur paleo-ecology has appeared in numerous professional journals and been featured in the popular press, including NOVA and Scientific American."
March 26, 2012
Café Scientifique with Professor Kristi Curry Rogers, on "Dinosaurs Down & Dirty: The Science Behind the Stories" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 03-21-12. Here is the description of the talk: "Dinosaurs are aliens. They are celebrities. They’ve been called “Nature’s Greatest Extravagances.” They really are biological superlatives. And…they populate your backyard birdfeeder. Over the past 25 years, nearly everything that we thought we knew about dinosaurs has changed. They are no longer dimwitted icons of extinction. Instead, they are an extraordinarily successful group that pushed the limits of terrestrial body size and even innovated powered flight. From exciting discoveries in the field to new information gleaned from microscopic investigations of their bones, Professor Kristi Curry Rogers of Macalester College’s Biology & Geology Departments will fill us in on the new and improved dinosaur. Professor Curry Rogers is a vertebrate paleontologist at Macalester College. She specializes in the long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods and has traveled around the globe in search of their bones. Kristi was recently awarded an NSF CAREER grant to investigate the effects of environmental stress on the bones of backboned animals (including dinosaurs). She is a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and is actively involved in public outreach activities. She has been a consultant and on-screen expert for programs aired on PBS, BBC Horizon, the Discovery Channel, and the National Geographic Channel."
February 24, 2012
Café Scientifique with Professor Lawrence Rudnick, on "Cosmic Catastrophes: Apocalypse When?" Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 02-24-12. Here is the description of the talk: "Our existence on Earth is at once robust and fragile. Life manages to survive under a wide range of conditions, but we also live under constant threat from all manner of events in the vast universe. Professor Lawrence Rudnick will talk us through a variety of ways our world could end – from asteroid impacts to rogue black holes – and wax philosophical about whether the universe itself might have prevented us from ever existing. You may lose some sleep after this Cafe -- not from fear but from the amazing perspectives we gain on humanity when we think BIG. Professor Rudnick is an observational astrophysicist from the University of Minnesota, studying both supernova remnants and large-scale structures in the Universe. He uses a wide variety of ground and space-based telescopes in the radio, X-ray, infrared, and optical portions of the spectrum. Professor Rudnick was a founding member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, which has now merged its operations with the Bell Museum to provide astronomy and space education across Minnesota. He is actively involved in public outreach activities and K-12 science education, and was a consultant and on-screen expert for public TV’s Newton’s Apple for 14 years. Professor Rudnick has been recognized with the Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and the Outstanding Community Service Award at the University of Minnesota."
January 23, 2012
Unfortunately, this month's edition of Café Scientifique with Archeoastronomy expert Jim Rock (his message entitled: "Between Earth and Sky-Indigenous Star Lessons from Turtle Island"), could not be released due to some technical difficulties with the audio recording. Thank you for subscribing, and please tune for next month's installment! Have a wonderful day!
December 21, 2011
Café Scientifique with Professor Terry Jones, on "Life on Earth: The Origin of Elements." Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl on 12-20-11. Here is the description of the talk: "The only elements made in the Big Bang were hydrogen and helium; the building blocks essential for life were nowhere to be seen. So, where did the carbon in our bodies come from? Terry Jones, professor of astronomy at the University of Minnesota, explains how elements like oxygen and iron were made, and how they came to be incorporated into our home planet, making life on Earth possible."
November 22, 2011
Café Scientifique with Gary Reineccius, on "The Chemistry of Flavor" 11-15-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl. The beginning of this podcast is cut off due to operator error, here is the description of the speaker since the audio for that was not recorded: "Gary Reineccius, flavor chemist and head of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, examines how growing location, variety, and processing combine to create the distinctive flavors of coffee, chocolate, and other foods we love."
October 25, 2011
Café Scientifique with George Weiblen, on "The Ethnopharmacology of Energy Drinks" 10-18-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
September 27, 2011
Café Scientifique with Jeff Gillman, on "The Truth About Organics" 09-20-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
May 23, 2011
Café Scientifique with Paige Novak and one of her graduate students; Mark Krzmarzick, on Clean Water and Sediment 05-17-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
April 29, 2011
Café Scientifique with Jane Davidson, and two of her graduate students; Josh Quinnell and Luke Venstrom, on Solar Power's Bright Future 04-19-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
March 25, 2011
Café Scientifique with Mark Davis on The Biology of Alturism 03-15-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
March 7, 2011
Café Scientifique with Mark Davis on The Controversy Surrounding Non-Native Species 02-15-11. Recorded at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
February 7, 2011
Café Scientifique with Lawrence Baker, Sarah Hobbie and Kristen Nelson on ouseholds and Urban Pollution 01-18-11
February 4, 2011
Café Scientifique with John Troyer on The Ultimate in Going Green 12-21-10
February 4, 2011
Café Scientifique with Marc Swackhamer on Biomimetics-Designing from Nature 11-16-10
October 21, 2010
Check out video of this cafe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL783191BEE126527A Café Scientifique with Daniel Handeen and Rachel O'Malley on Sustainable Building Research 10-19-10
September 21, 2010
Café Scientifique with Robert Twilley on Oil Spill Ecology 09-21-10
May 19, 2010
Café Scientifique with Robert King on "Going Local" 05-19-10.
April 6, 2010
Café Scientifique with Marla Emery on Gathering Wild Foods in the City 04-20-10
March 10, 2010
Café Scientifique with Koel Ghosh on Food Safety and Food Defense 03-16-10.
October 20, 2009
Café Scientifique Jonathan Foley 10-20-09
October 6, 2009
Café Scientifique with Paul Labowitz, Superintendent of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area, discusses getting people outdoors, 09-15-09
April 21, 2009
Café Scientifique with Marla Spivak on Honey Bees and Human Health 04-21-09
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