Pubtalk May 11thScience Pub To-Go via Zoom: “Size, Shape & Location –  Investigating adaptive phenotypes from the cell to big data with drones & satellite imaging”
May 11th, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Sip your favorite brew, while you learn a thing or two! Science Pub is an opportunity to enjoy learning about science in an informal atmosphere; no scientific background necessary! Just bring your curiosity and a thirst to learn.

There are 2 ways to be at this event:

  1. On ZoomRegister for the Zoom Talk HERE. Place a food/drink order for pick up at Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St, Pullman. Local delivery is also available. Mention Science Pub and you’ll be sent a link by text or email to join the event. Tip: Place your order early so it’s ready by Science Pub time.
  2. In Person – Paradise Creek Brewery will be seating indoors at 25% capacity under the Washington State COVID-19 Phase 2 Guidelines and the pub talk will be broadcast/projected on a the large projection screen in the pub/restaurant area. Please arrive early if you plan to join in person.

Paradise Creek Brewery is donating 10% of all food & drink proceeds from the evening to Palouse Discovery Science Center. Science Pub Talk is FREE, with a suggested $5 donation benefiting PDSC.

Please also visit the Facebook event for this talk.

This month’s speakers:

Join Laura Lavine and Sindhuja Sankaran on May 11th for their pub talk via Zoom, “Size, Shape & Location –  Investigating adaptive phenotypes from the cell to big data with drones & satellite imaging”.

The size and shape of an organism is due to both genes and the environment. How an organism adapts to its environment can predict its ability to respond to change. Their talk will focus on both basic and applied research to tell the story of how two women in STEM have built careers investigating an organism’s ability to adapt to its environment.

Lavine and Sankaran will focus the talk on the cellular and genetic responses to the environment in the weapons of sexual selection in beetles. From there they will discuss how the ability of an insect pest to respond to its environment allows the pest to be successful at the expense of a crop. They will then transition to big data. In recent years, the availability of advanced sensor technologies in terms of hardware (e.g. IoT devices) and software capabilities with better spatial and spectral resolution is becoming more common. These systems allow us to evaluate several biologically relevant crop traits at multiple (macro to micro) scales, with assistance from data mining approaches that offers sensible and functional data analysis. The talk will discuss applications of satellite imagery to plant level sensors, involving both optical and volatile sensing allowing us to grasp better understanding of crop adaptation to the environment. Lavine and Sankaran will summarize by pointing out that the complexity of size, shape and location that an organisms finds itself in are all parts of its ability to adapt to change.

Laura LavineDr. Laura Lavine is Professor and Chair of the Washington State University Department of Entomology.  Dr. Lavine received her Ph.D. in Entomology at the University of Kentucky and was a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with National Academy of Science member Michael R. Strand before coming to WSU in 2001. Her research program on the evolution of adaptation has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying an organism’s ability to rapidly adjust to its environment. Her research has been funded by the NSF and the USDA as well as commodity commissions and she has published her work in diverse journals such as Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Lavine has held many formal and informal leadership roles while at WSU both nationally, regionally, and at WSU. A few highlights include: Associate Director of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Agricultural Research Center, Interim Director of ADVANCE at WSU, President of the WSU Association for Faculty Women, Chair of the WSU Conflict of Interest Committee, Chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Policy, Science and Technology committee, and member of the WSU Teaching Academy.

Sindhuja SakaranDr. Sindhuja Sankaran is an Associate Professor at Washington State University in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. A researcher in agricultural automation engineering, Dr. Sankaran engages in sensing data-driven research that transform how we study the interaction between crops, genetics and environment to produce sustainable food, fiber and fuels. Based at WSU Pullman, Sankaran’s work focuses on advanced sensor technologies that detect and measure phenotypes—the physical expression of genes—in crops, supporting plant breeding, crop plant research, and precision agriculture. She utilizes opto-electronic, biological, and chemical sensors for non-invasive, rapid and continuous monitoring of plant responses to environmental stress, helping create a faster and better understanding of how our food crops react to a changing environment. Over the past seven years, she has been working closely with multiple crop breeding programs ranging from cereal, grain legume, and specialty crops to evaluate traits including crop vigor, stress tolerance, and seed size and quality.

Topics and presenters are arranged by the Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) and WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador (EFA) Program. All Donations support PDSC. Click here for more information.