Spring 2006

The Biology of Human Consumption & the Ethics of Sustainability

Dr. Marc Pratarelli
Dept. of Psychology, Colorado State University - Pueblo

Hosting Dept: Psychology


Abstract:  What looms on the horizon for the success (survival) of the human species?  New evidence and a theoretical framework from evolutionary biology has ushered in the latest micro-revolution within the information processing framework that has guided behavioral sciences for the last 50 years. Understanding the biological motivations that underlie consumption and consumerism can help us understand the likelihood of successfully adopting sustainable economic policies and practices. These are predicated on a rational-empirical model of human-nature. This talk will address the biology of human consumptive behavior.



Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Concepts in Electrochromic Materials


Dr. Vince Cammarata
Dept. of Chemistry, Auburn University

Hosting Dept: Chemistry


Abstract:  Electrochromic materials have been around the lab for decades but the fusion of new and old ideas and new materials have brought us more stable and unique devices. We have developed a family of aromatic amine/diimide polymeric materials that show multiple coloration states, are stable to air and water and show in the optimized cases, <10% optical degradation over 200,000 cycles in devices. Both switching speed and stability require a careful choice of electrochromic material, solid-electrolyte separator and counter- electrode materials. Ag nanoparticles can also be used to direct optical coloration changes and we will report our initial findingsand opinions in this area.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

What on Earth is a Pangolin? The evolution of a very odd order of mammals.


Dr. Tim Gaudin
Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  The mammalian order Pholidota, the pangolins or scaly anteaters, includes 7 living species of bizarre toothless, anteating, scale-covered mammals that are distributed across sub-Saharan Africa, India and southeast Asia. The group has a sparse fossil record that extends back almost 50 million years. I will be discussing two aspects of my research on this unusual group. First, I will discuss new investigations into the paleontological history of the group, namely, work to described virtually complete skeletons of the only North American pangolin, Patriomanis, from the late Eocene epoch (~33 million years ago) of Wyoming, as well a study describing a new fossil pangolin genus from the late Eocene (~40 million years ago) of Inner Mongolia in northern China. I will summarize the implications of this new fossil material for the anatomical, functional, and biogeographic history of the order as a whole. Secondly, I will address recent work on the systematics of the order Pholidota. I will discuss the relationships of the new fossil material to other known fossil pangolins and to modern forms. I will also discuss the relationships and taxonomy of the modern pangolins, the relationship of pangolins to other groups of mammals, and the biogeographic implications of this systematic study.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

President's Lecture Series

Sir Harold W. Kroto

Hosting Dept:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ecology of Birds and Snakes on Gulf Coast Islands

Dr. Harvey Lillywhite
University of Florida

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  Historically, Gulf Coast islands have provided important nesting refugia for thousands of wading birds, including pelicans, cormorants, ibis, herons and egrets. Cottonmouth snakes (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti) inhabit these same islands where they are entirely terrestrial and scavenge on dead or rotting fish that are dropped or regurgitated by nesting birds. Unlike many other island systems in which birds and snakes associate, cottonmouths are not direct predators on the birds but depend on them for input of fish. Scavenging of fish is limited to periods of nesting activities by birds (generally April - October) and is curtailed by drought that can shorten the nesting season, reduce the number of nesting birds, and prohibit foraging by snakes. Snakes cease to forage and retreat underground when their body water deficit increases to somewhere between 12% and 16% of body mass. Thus, scarcity of water, and especially prolonged drought, can seriously impact the energetics and survival of snake populations due to combined effects on prey abundance and foraging behavior. Comparative studies of several islands within Florida's Cedar Keys suggest the relationship between nesting birds and snakes is one of mutualism. The birds provide carrion as a food subsidy for the snakes, while the snakes, in turn, appear to deter the establishment of predators on avian nests. Thus, on islands having large bird rookeries and numerous cottonmouths, there are no raccoons, no arboreal snakes, and introduced rats appear to be less abundant than in areas without snakes. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) also occur on these same islands but in far lesser abundance where cottonmouths are numerous at bird rookeries. The success of cottonmouths in association with avian rookeries possibly precludes the establishment of rattlesnake populations, whereas the latter can be dominant on other islands.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Past, Present, and Future of Dental Ceramics


Dr. Karl Soderholm
University of Florida

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, Geosciences


Abstract:  Traditionally, dental ceramics are made by a dental technician. The technician makes such a restoration by mixing a ceramic powder with water and he/she then uses that slurry to build up the dental reconstruction. After the powder mixture has been given its shape, the build-up is transferred to an oven, where the ceramic powder particles are sintered together to the final dental reconstruction. No doubt such a process is associated with numerous problems, including differences in skill level among technicians as well as significant shrinkage during the sintering process and stress development in the structure during cooling. During the past 15 years a revolution has occurred in the processing of dental ceramics. That revolution has been sparked by increased use of CAD-CAM based systems in society in general. With that technology, the dental reconstructions are now electronically designed by use of different scanning and software techniques. These electronic reconstructions are then transferred to milling machines were the dental reconstructions are milled to their final shape. By use of these technologies, it has become possible to use industrially processed ceramics, rather than technician processed ceramics. Thus, individual variations among technicians have been eliminated, problems with thermal stresses have been reduced, and new ceramics with superior properties have been introduced. In this presentation we will discuss these new technologies and some new ceramic systems that have been introduced. We will also discuss advantages as well as some potential problems associated with the new technology in an attempt to identify research issues that need to be addressed in the future.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The Importance of Surface Water/Groundwater Interactions to Water Quality and Subterranean Biology in the Lower Flint River Basin, South Georgia

Dr. Stephen Opsahl
Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  The rapid changes in landuse patterns and subsequent effects on groundwater and surface water systems may be viewed as ongoing watershed-scale experiments in South Georgia. Surface water/groundwater interactions are apparent in the lower Flint River basin which has served as a model system to study the interesting and unusual patterns of hydrology, groundwater quality, and subterranean biology. Understanding these important aspects as they relate to the Upper Floridan Aquifer system will help in the development of water management plans that will perpetuate the availability of high quality water in the changing landscape of South Georgia.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Spring Break Week

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Imaging Science in our Modern World


Dr. David Wilson
Department of Mathematics, University of Florida

Hosting Dept: Department of Math & Computer Science


Abstract:  The field of imaging science is at the cutting edge of technology in the 21st Century. The advances in imaging science provide us with a multitude
of exciting new advances in application areas including medicine and the military. The goal of this talk is to use echocardiography as an entry
point to the subject, where we discuss the types of problems, techniques, and difficulties encountered in medical image analysis. We will discuss and
evaluate several different types of algorithms developed by myself and my colleagues. We will also mention other applications in imaging science
including one on image acquisition and one on target recognition. These topics will be used to generate a discussion of the skills required of
a researcher before working on such projects.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

FBOs: What are they and what do they do

Dr. Shani Gray
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Department of Anthropology, Sociology,& Criminal Justice


Abstract:  Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) have been providing social services to the public for decades. These services are often provided in
partnership with various types of agencies, including criminal justice agencies. However, very few researchers are asking questions about what
FBOs actually do in the criminal justice system, outside of their traditional presence in correctional institutions. This gap in the literature raises questions about what FBOs actually do and what, if anything, they do in the various aspects of the criminal justice system. This study begins to answer these questions through the analysis of data collected from 128 FBOs in 11 Indiana counties.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nuclear Cardiac Imaging

Dr. Bernard A. Mair
Dept. of Mathematics, University of Florida

Hosting Dept: Department of Math & Computer Science

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Soil Color Patterns, Seasonal Water Tables, and What They Mean

Dr. Larry West
Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, Geosciences


Abstract:  Depth to seasonal saturation (seasonal high water table) is one of the more critical interpretations for a range of soil uses including wastewater application, wetland identification, ecological diversity, and crop production. Though depth to the shallow water table is relatively easy to measure, seasonal and annual variation in water table depth requires long-term monitoring for accurate prediction and interpretation. Thus, low chroma colors that form by Fe loss from zones in a horizon in response reduction and dissolution of Fe oxide minerals have been used for many years to evaluate seasonal saturation of soil horizons. Limited data, however, is available to confirm the reliability of predictions of seasonal saturation from these features or the frequency and duration of saturation associated with these colors. In addition, other features in soils (redoximorphic features) that from by similar processes are generally not used to evaluate seasonal saturation. Thus, several studies have been conducted in Georgia over the past few years to evaluate the relationship between redoximorphic features and depth, frequency, and duration of seasonal saturation.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Older Birds of a Feather Coping Together: The Use of Lateral Social Comparison Processes in Later Life

Dr. Steven Kohn
Dept. of Psychology, Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Psychology

Thursday, April 20, 2006