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 Fall 2018 Seminar Series

When: All seminars held Fridays from 11:10am to 12:00pm
Where: Fisher Hall 33-285

28 September 2018

A Tale of Two Counties: How Anthropogenic Landscapes and Soundscapes Affect Sparrow Song and Survival

Dr. Jennifer Phillips, Postdoctoral Scholar, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly

Dr. Phillips earned her PhD in 2017 from Tulane University. She broadly studies the effects of anthropogenic sensory pollution on behavior, sexual selection, and fitness in birds. Her talk focuses on how natural selection shapes the acoustic phenotype of white-crowned sparrows in urban San Francisco and rural Point Reyes California, and the functional consequences for male-male competition across these soundscapes. She also will discuss how landscape and soundscape effects go beyond behavioral adaptation and affect survival, body condition, and the diversity of the gut microbiome.

personal website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

5 October 2018

Frost Symposium: Summer 2018 Research Presentations (cnt'd from Summer)

11:10   Effect of hormonal contraceptives on Escherichia coli antibiotic resistance
Leah Van Otterloo*, Allison Clatch, Jennifer VanderKelen, Alejandra Yep

11:20   Measuring avian telomere length using qPCR
Ally Randall*, Elena Keeling

11:30   Amplification and sequencing of partial Wnt and Fzd genes in Botrylloides violaceus
Hannah Bulosan*, Elena Keeling

11:40   Alpine plant research 2018
Ella Abelli-Amen*, Courtney Tuskan*, Charlie Gibbons, Dena Paolili, Dena Grossenbacher

11:50   The impact of light and noise on bat communities
Helen Payne*, Waverly Davis*, Jenny Phillips, Clinton Francis

*Frost Summer Research Interns

Host: Dr. Jenn Yost

12 October 2018

Processes Contributing to Population Divergence and Hybridization: Insights from Barn and Pacific Swallows

Dr. Elizabeth Scordato, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona

The Scordato Lab investigates mechanisms that drive large-scale phenotypic and genomic variation among populations; specifically, how that variation contributes to the formation, maintenance, and erosion of reproductive barriers. Methods include next-generation sequencing and genomic analysis, behavioral observations, and long-term ecological and climatic datasets.

Scordato Lab website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

19 October 2018

From Sender to Receiver: The Evolution and Ecology of Animal Signaling Systems

Dr. Alexis Billings, Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

"Signaling systems appear relatively simple, a sender encodes and transfers a signal through an environmental space eventually reaching a receiver where it is decoded and used. However, a signaling system is much more than the sum of its parts and it is imperative to examine all the pieces of a signaling system in order to understand both the ecology and evolution of that system. My research is focused on probing these pieces, both individually and in tandem, in order to understand signaling systems as a whole. My PhD research focused on understanding how avian senders alter mobbing signals in response to different stimuli and how those signals are shaped by the environmental space. My postdoctoral research has shifted towards the receiver side to understand how multimodal signals are processed and used in complex courtship signaling systems in Hawaiian picture-wing Drosophila. Taken together, my research attempts to identify common themes surrounding senders, signals, environmental space and receivers across taxa and signaling systems."

personal website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

26 October 2018

Predicting Ecological Systems Using Remote Sensing, GIS, and Big Data

Dr. G. Andrew Fricker, Assistant Professor, Social Sciences (Geography), Cal Poly SLO

Dr. G. Andrew Fricker is a biogeographer, landscape ecologist and 'technologist' who loves a good map. This seminar will be a brief tour through his research using high resolution remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study ecological systems. This research uses tools like airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), Hyperspectral Imagery, Machine Classifiers and Deep Learning to learn about the spatial distribution of plants and animals in diverse ecosystems from the Panama Canal Zone to the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. This presentation is designed to get biology students and faculty thinking about applying new technologies to their own datasets and to think 'spatially' whenever possible.

personal website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

2 November 2018

Baby It's Cold Outside: Ontogeny and Thermal Physiology of Lizards and Seals

Dr. Heather Liwanag, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly

Dr Liwanag's research involves the physiological adaptations of animals to their environment, with a focus on thermoregulation (regulation of body temperature) and energetics (metabolic rates) in vertebrate animals, from reptiles to marine mammals. In this seminar, she will share her recent and current research at Cal Poly, examining ontogenetic (developmental) changes and thermal capabilities in Italian Wall Lizards and Antarctic Weddell seals.

Liwanag Vertebrate Integrative Physiology website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

9 November 2018

The Interdisciplinary Coast: People, Place, Policy

Dr. Dan Reineman, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Resource Management, CSU Channel Islands

"Coasts are integral to the lives, livelihoods, and cultures of peoples worldwide; coastal ecosystems intermingle fluxes of mass and energy, services, benefits, and impacts across the land-sea interface. California's coast is home to one out of every fifteen Americans: its ecosystems, economies, cultures, and communities are rich, diverse, and complex. Sustainably managing a system of this complexity requires understanding and integrating multiple disciplines. Drawing on past and present research and my own experiences with science and policy, in this talk, I will build a case for the value of interdisciplinarity when tackling the immense challenge of coastal stewardship in light of projected social and environmental change."

personal website

Host: Dr. Clint Francis

16 November 2018

The Importance of Sensory Environments to Ecology: Evidence from Manipulative Field Experiments and Large-Scale Data Synthesis

Dr. Clint Francis, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences Department, Cal Poly

Francis Lab website

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