Spring 2012

Emerging issues in marine metal toxicity

Dr. Gretchen K. Bielmyer
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology


January 19, 2012

The good, the bad, and the downright nasty: Microhabitat preferences of carrion-infesting Diptera

Dr. Ed Mondor
Department of Biology
Georgia Southern University

Hosting Dept: Biology


January 26, 2012

Prime Numbers and the Goldbach Conjecture

Dr. Jose A. Velez Marulanda
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Math/CS

Prime numbers, which are useful for example in cryptology, have been among the main objects of study of Mathematics since ancient times. Although Euclid of Alexandria (fl. 300 BC) proved that there are infinitely many primes, has been an arduous task for mathematicians to answer questions about prime numbers such as their description and distribution. In particular, Goldbach’s conjecture claims that every even number greater than two can be express (not necessarily in a unique way) as the sum of two primes. This problem remains open today and is considered as one of the most important problems in mathematics history. In this talk we present many general aspects about prime numbers and discuss the historical background of Goldbach’s conjecture and some of its cultural references.

February 2, 2012

Jargon Wars: Landscape Genetics

Dr. Corey Anderson
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology

Interdisciplinary science can be very fruitful, but barriers exist, including discipline specific jargon. Sometimes, this is just a minor source of confusion; in other cases, it can affect scientific inferences. The emerging field of landscape genetics (which lies at the crossroads of population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics) is in the midst of this sort of “jargon war”. Terms such as “scale” are invoked frequently in the literature to refer to a variety of discrete concepts (where implied meaning is often dependent upon the background of the researcher and the particular application). Similar problems exist for other popular terms such as “genetic connectivity” and “genetic distance”. Further advancement in landscape genetics will require semantical clarification and a clear ontology relating important concepts.

February 16, 2012

Conservation of the Gran Chaco: Jaguars and camera traps

Dr. Andrew Noss
Asociación Civil Centrode Investigaciones delBosque tlántico(CeIBA)—Argentina
Wildlife Conservation Society
University of Florida

Hosting Dept: Biology

The Gran Chaco covers 1 million square kilometers in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay; is the largest ecoregion after the Amazon in South America, and the world’s most extensive dry forest. Annual rainfall is as low as 400 mm, and 6 months or more with no surface water for resident wildlife that includes lowland tapir, three species of peccary, jaguar, ocelot, giant armadillo, giant anteater, several primates, and many armadillos. The Chaco boasts the continent’s hottest temperatures in summer swinging to below-freezing temperatures in winter. The lack of water—boreholes may be 150 m deep and often bring up salty water—and thorny dense forest has protected the Chaco, yet machines and irrigation are converting vast areas to commercial crops such as soybean and cotton. One uncontacted group of Ayoreode Indians continues to wander between Bolivia and Paraguay, while other indigenous communities depend on subsistence agriculture and hunting with extensive ranching.

February 23, 2012

Early stages of sea urchin embryogenesis

Dr. Gary Wessel
Brown University

Hosting Dept: Biology

March 1, 2012

Evolution in a changing world: Insight from phenotypic strategies and marine larvae

Dr. Justin McAlister
Clemson University

Hosting Dept: Biology

My research interests straddle the interface of organismal and population biology with the marine sciences and ecotoxicology. I am broadly interested in the expression and evolution of morphological and physiological phenotypes in response to natural and anthropogenic environmental change, how these responses vary among taxa, shape the evolution of life histories, the mechanisms that underlie their expression, and I work primarily with marine invertebrates and their larvae. I will present the results of research examining how historical environmental changes in phytoplankton food levels have led to changes in the two primary means by which marine invertebrate larvae acquire and utilize the structural and energetic materials required for metabolism and morphogenesis: (1) by using their own food collection structures to capture exogenous phytoplankton, and/or (2) by utilizing the endogenous biochemical constituents provided to them by their mothers in the egg (the single most important cell in an organism’s life cycle). For these studies, I have been examining the eggs and larvae of tropical echinoderm “geminates,” closely related species that were separated ~3.2 million years ago during and subsequent to the rising of the Isthmus of Panama. These organisms now inhabit marine oceanic environments, the tropical western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, that differ markedly in primary productivity and phytoplankton food availability. Trans-isthmian geminate species offer a unique replicated natural research system that can be used to examine the ecological and evolutionary ramifications of large-scale environmental changes.

March 8, 2012

Fish, the inorganic carbon cycle, acid-base balance and ocean acidification

Dr. Martin Grosell
University of Miami
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)

Hosting Dept: Biology

March 22, 2012

From Parthian Batteries to Li ion Batteries

Dr. A. Saatchi
Professor Emeritus from Isfahan University of Technology & Georgia Tech Research Collaborator

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences

March 29, 2011

An Application of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in Mathematics Classrooms in the Context of Origami

Dr. Arsalan Wares
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Mathematics and Computer Science

The purpose of this talk is to illustrate how Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences may be applied in mathematics classrooms in the context of an origami project. We discuss an origami project and the mathematics behind the project, and then use the origami project to discuss how Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences and idea of entry points can be applied in mathematics classrooms to help students understand and appreciate mathematics.

April 5, 2012

Application of Geographic Information Systems to Karst Geomorphology and Environmental Problems

Dr. Can Denizman
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences

Connection between surface and subsurface karst development in Florida was studied by comparing the spatial distribution of karstic depressions and caves. Standard deviational ellipse orientations for caves and karstic depressions, obtained by means of spatial statistics tools of ArcGIS, suggest a significant connection between surface and subsurface karst development.

Using spatial distributions of various land use categories and superfund and hazardous material sites, GIS was also used to identify areas susceptible to point and nonpoint contamination around Suwannee River, Florida.

April 12 , 2012

Charles Darwin in Context

Dr. Michael Ruse
Florida State University

Hosting Dept: Philosophy and Religious Studies

This talk will introduce the man Charles Darwin, author of the fundamental work on evolution, The Origin of Species, as well as the important work on our own species, The Descent of Man. The talk will then discuss some of the implications of Darwin and his work for today, in the realms of science, religion, and education.

April 19, 2012