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Come and explore the worlds beneath your feet - meeting scientists discovering how plants defend themselves from attack and how bumblebees learn to navigate and fly. We’ll also learn how humans, through air pollution and habitat fragmentation, are disturbing vital interactions between plants and insects, leaving these special communities more vulnerable than ever before.
How air pollution impacts insects (and vice versa)
Dr Stuart Campbell (Researcher, Biosciences)
Vegetation can act to remove air pollutants and thereby improve air quality. However, the uptake of pollutants by plants could have knock-on effects on the animals that feed on them. We assessed how nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a major constituent of smog, changes the chemical composition of plants, and the effect of these changes on leaf-chewing insects. I discuss our results in the context of other recent research showing how insects are threatened by complex, human-caused changes to the environment.
How to Follow a Bumblebee
Where do bumblebees go and how do they find their way back? We need ways of following bees to figure this out. I’ll be focusing on one method we've invented. It uses a tiny hiv-is jacket, some cameras with flashes and some help from a computer and some maths. We can now start to explore their learning and return flights, and even where they are looking!
Plants fight back
Hannah Ronan-Brown (Postgraduate research student, Biosciences)
From the weird world of carnivorous plants to the humble tomato, plants have an armoury of defence mechanisms to protect against herbivore and pathogen attack. This talk will involve audience participation to help create a map of plant defence - featuring plasticine caterpillars, tin foil butterflies and REAL-LIFE plants. Together we will take a mind-boggling whistle-stop tour through the world of plant defence, learning about the intricate balances in nature of pollination and protection, to learn how plants fight back.
Other Sidney & Matilda events
2022-05-10 Sustainable solutions to pollution Sidney & Matilda Rivelin Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4RH, United Kingdom
Sustainable solutions to pollution
2022-05-09 Time And Relative Dimensions in Science Sidney & Matilda Rivelin Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4RH, United Kingdom