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LSS 80: Darwin and co-Evolution

Each year, around the time of Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12, the Paleontological Research Institution, also known as PRI, presents a week-long festival of events called “Darwin Days”.  The theme of this year’s celebration was “The Power of Pollination”!   

Darwin’s Star Orchid

To learn more about Darwin’s observations of flowers and the insects that pollinate them, Locally Sourced Science contributor Esther Racoosin attended one of the Darwin Days events.  It was a presentation, titled “Pollination and Coevolution:  Love Story or Arms race” by Cornell Professor Anurag Agrawal.  At the beginning of today’s show, you’ll hear about Darwin’s thoughts on co-evolution and Dr. Agrawal’s research on the topic.

Acanthurus lineatus, the striped surgeonfish

Later in the show, you’ll hear an interview produced by Cornell undergraduate Alejandro Schmieder.  He spoke with Cornell Assistant Professor Esther Angert about her research on a type of bacteria, Epulopiscium, that lives inside the gut of tropical surgeonfish.  Angert talks about how those two organisms have perhaps co-evolved to develop a symbiotic relationship that allows them to survive changing conditions in the ocean.

And, lastly, you’ll hear our science events calendar for the week.

Image Credits: Paleontological Research Institution, Anurag Agrawal, Cornell University Dept. of Microbiology

Show Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Cornell Professor Esther Angert: Alejandro Schmieder

Science Calendar: Esther Racoosin

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