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From miniature beasties to one of mankind's closest relatives, the effects of climate change and the influence of mankind on the natural world have consequences for the whole animal kingdom. Pint of Science welcomes you to take a walk on the wild side and learn about the secret lives of three diverse creatures.
Creepy-crawlies, Crops and Climate Change
Beth Moore (PhD student in Ecology, University of Aberdeen)
Insects are everywhere! They play an important role in nature but, in high numbers, some can cause problems. Aphids are the masters of multiplication; infesting crops and reaching populations in the thousands within months. The key to their success: they change the way they make babies seasonally. In summer females make armies of clones, but in autumn switch to laying eggs that can survive the cold. I'll be introducing the weird and wonderful life of these insects, why I care about them and how climate change could affect where they exist.
Hunting for a Mattress - What Orangutan nests tell us about tropical forests
Sol Milne (PhD Student in Tropical Forest Ecology, University of Aberdeen)
Orangutans engage in complex social behaviours and have gathered a deep ecological understanding of their environment that allows them to survive in the forests of Borneo, feeding on hundreds of species of trees. Despite this intelligence, they don't do anything predictable, making studying them almost impossible. Have a pint and hear how we study orangutans by flying drones over forests in order to understand these apes and why it is important that we know where they sleep.
Does fatness make you fitter?
Alexandra Jebb (PhD Candidate in Zoology, University of Aberdeen)
If the climate warms this could create changes for animals and their habitats all over the world. For animals that live in mountainous environments, particularly those who must hibernate to survive freezing and snowy winters, less cold and more heat might make living in these extreme conditions much easier. Especially when, like my study species the yellow-bellied marmot, you consume a vegetarian diet. I debate whether eating more in warmer and richer summers could make a hibernator fatter and so better at surviving or, if getting too fat might come with some unforeseen consequences...