20A Portugal Place, Cambridge, CB5 8AF, United Kingdom
Wednesday 20 May 2015
Doors open 6.30pm, Event 7pm-9pm
Please note that the event takes place on the first floor.
This talk will discuss some key steps in evolution, from the first replicating molecules to the evolution of cells, from the evolution of multicelled organisms to the emergence of complex societies. We will draw out some general principles in how evolution by natural selection works to explain the diverse range of forms and behaviours seen in the natural world today.
Flowers and the animals that pollinate them interact at a single key point – the petal surface. It is this single layer of tissue that provides the visual surface that advertises nectar rewards. It is on this layer of tissue that pollinators land. And it is often from this layer of tissue that the scents that attract pollinators over longer ranges are released. Beverley will present recent work on the petal surface, taking molecular genetic, evolutionary and pollinator behavioural perspectives.
Caterpillars that morph into snakes when under attack, octopuses that can disguise themselves as poisonous lion fish, and spiders that hide from predators by masquerading as bird poo. Mimicry is one of the most striking examples of evolution in action. For over a century scientists have wondered how mimicry works, but it's only recently that we've begun to unlock its secrets. We'll go on a journey from Darwin and Wallace to cutting edge research on mimicry and find out how not to be eaten.