Discover what lives on, under your skin and in backyards at Sept. 30 ‘Science Café’

September 10th, 2013

Andrea Lucky and collected Florida ant specimens.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Andrea Lucky inspects collected Florida ant specimens.
UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the many species inhabiting your yard, home and body at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s first “Science Café” of the fall series on Sept 30.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129, Town of Tioga. The restaurant opens at 6 p.m. and offers a limited menu for attendees. University of Florida guest speakers Andrea Lucky, assistant research scientist for the entomology and nematology department and Jiri Hulcr, assistant professor at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation will describe “The Beauty and Complexity of Insects, Fungi and Microbes Under (and on) Your Feet.”

“Biodiversity is all around us, including our own backyards, not just in faraway places,” Hulcr said. “There is so much we are still discovering about the wildlife that lives around us, and on us.”

Lucky said scientific discovery doesn’t need to involve extravagant equipment.

“It requires knowing what questions to ask and how to look for the answers,” she said.

This fall begins the third year of the program in which community members and guest speakers gather at local restaurants to discuss contemporary science topics over food.

“Our ‘Science Café’ programs have been very well received thus far by both participants and presenters,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning. “This fall’s cafés, beginning with a closer look at the biodiversity around you and followed by clam farming and ‘despicable plants,’ are sure to generate interesting questions and discussion among attendees.”

Other fall programs include “Farming the Sea: The Cedar Key Story” at Blue Gill Quality Foods Oct. 28. State shellfish extension agent Leslie Sturmer, with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will discuss clam farming. The final fall program is scheduled for Nov. 11 at Saboré, when Florida Museum doctoral candidate Grant Godden will discuss “Despicable Plants: A Botanical World of Liars, Crooks, Murderers and Tyrants.”

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

-30- 

Writer: Kaitlin Gardiner, kgardiner@flmnh.ufl.edu
Source: Betty Dunckel, bdunckel@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2088
Media Contact: Paul Ramey, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2054