Nerd Nite 075

Date: Wednesday, Dec 1
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

The order of the night’s line-up will be announced on the Facebook event the day of the show.

Ribbing you the wrong way: Why so many museum mounts of whales & dinosaurs are wrong, and why you might care

Have you ever wandered around a natural history museum, gazing in awe at the skeletons of impossibly large whales or enjoying the site of prehistoric monsters? What if I told you almost every museum display (and most textbook illustrations) have gotten the rib cage completely wrong due to mammal-chauvinism? Join me for a look at how fossils, developmental anatomy and correcting our own preconceptions can provide insight on how torso bones work, and why it matters to more than just museum visitors and 5 year old dinosaur enthusiasts.

Scott Hartman

Presenter bio: Scott got his PhD at UW-Madison in paleobiology, studying (among other things) rib cage anatomy. After graduating he fooled UW-Madison into hiring him so he could stay on to warp the next generation of nerds and biologists. When not teaching or sciencing, he also likes to draw, watch movies with his daughter, cheer on Wisconsin sportsball teams (also with his daughter), and sometimes squeezes in time for a PC game. In addition to human progeny he is the proud father of an adorable dog and cat, who are far too spoiled for their own good.

What If Finding Nemo Were Real?

We certainly don’t expect a movie about talking fish and literate pelicans to be biologically accurate, but what if Finding Nemo were? Come learn about the mighty morphin’ sex change powers of clownfish and how they would change the story of Pixar’s award-winning classic.

Sasha Rosser

Presenter bio: Sasha Rosser is a data scientist at the UW-Madison Department of Surgery by day and nationally touring stand-up comedian by night. She also co-founded the local production company Madison Indie Comedy and collects R2-D2s and mustard.

Azucar!: Cuba’s rise and fall in the world stage

Everyone loves sugar. In fact, humans are evolutionarily predisposed to want and crave sugar. Although it’s striking, it’s no surprise that the yearly global sugar production today is approximately 180 million metric tons per year and most citizens acquire between 300 and 600 Calories DAILY from sugar or sugar products. Today’s sugar economy is vastly different from what it was 100 years ago. Pre-1940, Cuba led the world in sugar-cane production, providing upwards of one-third of the world’s supply, a lot of which ended up in the United States. Mauriel is fascinated by how Cuba’s history was shaped by sugar and how Cuba’s story fit into the world stage at the time.

Mauriel Rodriguez Curras

Presenter Bio: Mauriel a PhD student in Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focuses on how carnivore communities are structured, particularly in the Anthropocene. He is currently doing research in Isle Royale National Park to understand how red foxes and American martens are responding to the recent wolf reintroduction. Outside of the academic setting, he loves biking, climbing, hiking, and playing board games.

Leave a Reply