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Physics Colloquium - Dr Dwight Whitaker

Monday, 20 March 2017

Physics Department

Dr Dwight Whitaker

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Pomona College, Claremont CA

"Nature's Weapons of Mass Production - Ultrafast Spore and Seed Dispersal from Plants"

Without muscles or the ability to change their location plants have needed to develop novel approaches to disperse their seeds and spores to gain an evolutionary advantage. For these small propagules, like spores and some seeds, aerodynamic forces are comparable to or greater than gravity and plants have employed a number of strategies to overcome drag and enhance their evolutionary success. In this talk we will present work that uses high-speed video to study the kinematics of seed and spore dispersal from a diverse set of species - pollen from bunchberry flowers, spores from Sphagnum moss, and the rapidly spinning seeds of Acanthaceae. Results from these video analyses are used to guide models of the behavior, which can then be analyzed in an evolutionary context.

WHEN: Monday 20 March 2017
WHERE: Room 314, Science 3 Building
TIME: 3.00 pm–4.00 pm

All interested are welcome to attend

Light refreshments to follow in Common Room