Monday, September 30, 2013 - Dr. Jeffrey Silverman, “DJ Superdupernova”

30Sep

Supernovae are the most powerful explosions in the universe.  DJ Superdupernova (aka. Dr. Jeffrey Silverman) explains the origin of these celestial events, breaking down the different types and sub types.  One famous subtype, "Type Ia" is really useful as a "standardizable" candle, which means that we know the absolute luminosity of the stellar explosion, and can therefore calculate its distance.  The standardizable Type Ia supernovae reveal that the universal expansion is accelerating.  DJ R-naught gets downright frightened of dark energy!  Dr. Silverman is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Astronomy.

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Monday, September 23, 2013 - Dr. Hans Hofmann and Rayna Harris

23Sep

Woods Hole Massachusetts is a summer destination for beach goers and scientists.  This week we spoke with evolutionary biologists Dr. Hans Hofmann and Rayna Harris who lead the Neural Systems and Behavior summer course in Woods Hole.  This intensive eight-week lecture and laboratory course focuses on the neural basis of behavior.  We asked Hofmann and Harris about what the students learn, and how they learn it.  Highlights include the stomatogastric cycle relating to rhythmic neural activity like breathing.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 - Guest DJ Jumping Spider (Ian Wright) discusses Texas natural history

16Sep

Ian Wright answers questions about rabbits, spiders, toads, and other natural creatures found in Texas and beyond.  The largest continental US state is home to a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna.  Ian mentions the effect of drought on local wildlife.  

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Monday, September 9, 2013 - Guest Kelsey Jiang- How three-spined stickleback select their habitat

9Sep

Guest Kelsey Jiang studies the habitat preference of Three-Spined Sticklebacks.  This ~2 inch fish is interesting because it shows a lot of morphologies based on its habitat.  Kelsey has developed a way to distinguish between lake- and stream- fish based on the way they swim in the direction of or against the current.  Kelsey is a graduate student in the Bolnick Lab at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Biological Sciences section on Integrative Biology.  

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