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Thread: College CP Presentation

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    College CP Presentation

    So, I'm trying to come up with a list of topics for a short presentation on CPs (15-30 minutes I'm guessing) aimed mostly at those with a high-school level science background or higher. Some of the things I want to talk about are the prehensile movement of Nepenthes tendrils, the mechanism of VFT leaves, contrast of hunting strategies in Drosera and Drosophyllum, and symbiosis of pitcher plants with local fauna (ants and N. bicalcurata, birds and N. lowii, frogs and Heliamphora, spiders and Sarracenia.) I'll also probably go over the standard talking points of cultivation, range, and trapping mechanisms.
    For the past month or so I've been poking around the labs at my college, looking for biology and botany professors interested in CPs. I was hoping to start a college club or something after hearing lots of interest from my classmates and friends visiting my home. One of the professors I spoke with actually invited me to come in and speak to her class early this fall. The class is called Introduction to Natural Sciences; it's a 48 credit, year-long program encompassing elementary physics, biology and chemistry. It's designed to be the primer course for students in scientific inquiry (besides weird math people like me) and is basically the must-have class for biology and chemistry studies at my school (both big programs.) It has a reputation as the most difficult and rigorous course that's commonly offered to first-year students. I'm a little intimidated, to be honest, but I feel it would be stupid to turn down such a generous invitation.
    Does anyone have any other ideas about bio-science-y topics to throw in? I think it might be interesting to discuss some of the mimicry that goes on with CPs, like the scents of pitcher plants or the inviting appearance of certain Drosera and other plants, but I'm not sure I have enough details to satisfy scientist types on those phenomena. Any recommended reading?
    Thanks,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  2. #2
    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    well, idk how interesting this would be, but I've been doing research on sundews with my biochem advisor and i have been reading a bit about chitinase (dissolves chitin in insect shells) and the "viscoelastic deadly fluid" in nepenthes and i think pitcher plants. the viscoelastic fluid is kinda cool because it is sensitive to movement. In one example, the experimentors diluted the liquid in a nepenthes pitcher x 10 and it still had the same trapping effects. You should get quite a few hits when you google those topics.
    Hope this is at least a little of what you were looking for.
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun!

    Just a few quick suggestions for the moment: There're some excellent papers out there talking about the relationship between jumping spiders (Salticidae) and Sarracenia. Another excellent topic is the microcosms that purp pitchers form in nature based around a number of bacteria, rotifers, mosquitoes, and ants.

    The spiders have been one of my favorite topics because many of the interactions that researchers have noted on the East Coast, I see here on the west coasts with native spiders interacting with these non-native plants. Cool stuff.
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  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Same here Est, I've always been very intrigued by the interaction between local fauna and my non-native plants. I get lots of orb-weaver spiders and frogs hanging around my setup.
    I like the sound of the viscoelastic fluid dynamics, CP. I think there are several groups doing material biochemistry work here so that would probably get a good response.
    Thanks for the suggestions guys.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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