Evenings at Whitney Lecture – The Mighty Water Bear: Tiny, but Invincible! on March 31, 2016
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returns on March 31, 2016, at 7 p.m. with the program titled The Mighty Water Bear: Tiny, but Invincible!. Bob Goldstein, professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will speak about water bears, which are fascinating, microscopic animals that live all around us. Water bears are among the most extreme survivors of all animals. The free lecture is presented at Lohman Auditorium located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., on the Whitney Laboratory campus.
Water bears, also known as tardigrades, survive boiling temperatures, drying out, and even the vacuum of outer space. To survive such conditions, tardigrades, which need a small amount of water to function, go into hibernation by drying out. The water bears can then become revived when water is available, which can be up to a decade later. The presentation will show ongoing research on how biological materials can survive such extremes. Goldstein will also show research on age-old questions about how such strange animals may have originated.
Goldstein has worked in the department of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1999. He received his doctorate from University of Texas. He began studying tardigrade development as a side project in 1999. There are approximately 1,000 species of tardigrades, and only a handful of people use these animals in their research. Goldstein’s long-term goal for studying water bears is to use the animals to contribute to understanding how the form of animals evolves by evolutionary changes to developmental mechanisms.
About The Evenings at Whitney
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series focuses on current science topics or ongoing research at Whitney Laboratory. Speakers are recognized experts in their fields and encourage questions and discussion. Lectures are presented the first or second Thursday of each month, September through May, in Whitney’s 260-seat Lohman Auditorium. Lectures, including parking, are free and open to the public. Reservations are not needed.