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You might think twice next time you feel like diving in fresh water. There is a great deal of hidden life happening in it including sneaky mating and hunting minute water bears. Join us for a great night of science chat and for a chance to win Pint of Science goodies!
Promiscuous females, territorial males and sneaky mating: the private life of cichlid fish
Isabel Magalhaes (Senior lecturer)
The Great Lakes of Africa are home to large and diverse species flocks of cichlid fish. In most species, males are not involved in raising their offspring, so they devote their reproductive efforts to mating, resulting in intense competition over mates. Some males invest greatly in ornaments to attract females and increase their chances of mating. This investment ranges from having brightly coloured bodies to building huge sand castles, but does it always pay off? Do females really fall for the charms of the flashiest male or are they playing them for fools.
The wonderful world of water microbes
Julia Reiss (Senior Lecturer)
I will take you on safari in a water world where harmful bacteria get eaten by strange one-cell animals, where minute water bears hunt algae made out of glass and where some females don’t need males to produce offspring. You will find out that water harbours a hidden biodiversity of beautiful creatures that are hidden to the naked eye. Do you binge-watch nature programmes on TV? This talk will explore a topic that does not feature much in documentaries: our planet's hidden biodiversity that is vital for our survival on earth.