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Next Week in EvoS: Deane Bowers on the ecology and evolution of caterpillar chemical defense

Next Monday, April 11, the EvoS seminar series continues at 5:00 PM in S1-149 with a presentation by Deane Bowers of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The title of the talk is Eating and being eaten: the ecology and evolution of caterpillar chemical defense. Here’s the abstract:

Insects are perhaps the most successful group of organisms on earth: over half of all known species of organisms are insects and the majority of these feed on plants. Two factors contributing to the success of insects are their ability to use a wide diversity of plant species as food and their ability to defend themselves against predators. My research examines how insects deal with the many chemical compounds found in their food, the evolution of the ability of some insect species to “recycle” plant chemical compounds and use them for their own defense, and how these defenses affect the interaction of these insects with their natural enemies. This talk will provide an introduction to plant defenses, discuss the evolution and ecology of how herbivorous insects deal with these defenses, provide some examples of the effectiveness of these defenses, and consider how introduced weeds might alter these interactions.

Here’s a poster:

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 in Events/News by EvoS.


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