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May Pub Talk

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.

April Pub Talk

April Pub TalkScience Pub To-Go via Zoom: “Covid-19 Mental Health Impacts and How the Pandemic Ends”
April 6th, 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 50% capacity under the Washington State COVID-19 Phase 3 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 Guy Palmer and Celestina Barbosa-Leiker on April 6th for their pub talk via Zoom, “Covid-19 Mental Health Impacts and How the Pandemic Ends”.

Focusing on the vulnerable population of pregnant and parenting women, Dr. Barbosa-Leiker will share results from two studies that assessed stressors, mental health, coping, and resources needed from pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dr. Palmer will discuss vaccines and vaccination and how the pandemic ends.

Guy PalmerDr. Guy Palmer holds the Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair at Washington State University where he is Regents Professor of Pathology & Infectious Diseases and the Senior Director of Global Health.  Dr. Palmer is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Medical Sciences Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a founding member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, where he served as President from 2012-13.  He currently serves as Science Advisor for the WSU Covid-19 Task Force.

C Barbosa-LeikerDr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing and Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane. Dr. Barbosa-Leiker’s primary research investigates the transition from pregnancy to parenthood in women with substance use disorders. She is currently leading an interdisciplinary research team to assess mothers, infants, and healthcare providers in order to better care for women, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of these studies will help better educate healthcare providers and pregnant women, inform maternal and infant health policy, and improve standards of care.

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.

June Pub Talk

Pub Talk June 2ndScience Pub To-Go via Zoom: “Better Wines Through Drone Imagery data & Optimized Deep Root Zone Irrigation”
June 2nd, 2020 | 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 register for this event:

  1. 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. Or, email frontdesk@palousescience.org before 5:00pm on the day of the event for the link. Science Pub Talk is FREE, with a suggested $5 donation benefiting PDSC.

Paradise Creek Brewery is donating 10% of all food & drink proceeds from the evening to Palouse Discovery Science Center.

Please also visit the Facebook event for this talk.

This month’s speakers:

Join Pete Jacoby and Lav Khot on June 2nd for their pub talk via Zoom, “Better Wines Through Drone Imagery Data & Optimized Deep Root Zone Irrigation”.

Their talk will share pertinent findings on how the crop water use efficiency of wine grapes was improved through use of DRZ drip irrigation in a vineyard planted to own-rooted Cabernet Sauvignon wine grapes and how DRZ irrigated vines were monitored using small UAS (aka drones) based remote sensing to assess vine water stress and understand suitability of pertinent DRZ irrigation rate/depth in commercial operations.  They will also discuss advances in the remote sensing technology domain as well as its implications in crop irrigation management through high resolution mapping of actual crop ET (evapotranspiration).

Pete JacobyDr. Pete Jacoby returned to a faculty position after serving two decades as a College Administrator in Texas, Nebraska, and Washington State. In 2014, he re-engaged in teaching, extension education, and applied research with emphasis on sub-surface micro-irrigation for high value specialty crops, including grapes, hops, and small fruit. His previous areas of research focused on studies of root system dynamics of perennial shrubs and plant eco-physiology. Although located on WSU Pullman campus, Dr. Jacoby’s field research program operates from Prosser at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center. Professor Jacoby is active in the Irrigation Association, American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers, American Society of Enology & Viticulture, and the American Society of Agronomy. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming and his B.S. from Texas A&M University.

Lav KhotDr. Lav R. Khot is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University (WSU). He is one of the core faculty members of WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural System (CPAAS). He received his M. Engg. at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; MS from Iowa State University; and PhD from North Dakota State University. He spent 4 years at University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center as Postdoctoral Researcher before moving to WSU in 2013. Dr. Khot currently works in the WSU Agricultural Automation Engineering research emphasis area of the department and his research and extension program focuses on “Sensing and automation technologies for site specific and precision management of production agriculture”. He has published 75 peer-reviewed papers in this area and 300+ combined national and international conference talks, extension/outreach workshops and short courses. He currently serves as the Associate Editor for American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Transactions and chairs the ‘Mechanization, Digitization, Sensing and Robotics Workgroup’ of International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS).

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.

March Pub Talk

Science Pub: “Changing the Strategy for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases” followed by a Special Interactive Session
March 3rd, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St
Free Admission – $5.00 suggested donation (all donations support the Palouse Discovery Science Center)

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.

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.

This month’s speakers:

Join Joe Harding on March 3rd at Paradise Creek Brewery for his pub talk “Changing the Strategy for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases” followed by a special interactive research commercialization session with Grant Norton and Kimberly Christen.

By any measure, the efforts to develop an effective treatment for any of the major neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have been an abject failure. The pharmaceutical industry has spent over one trillion dollars trying to develop anything effective with zero to show for it. So why? Come listen to Joe break down the reasons and present the effective approaches that have been championed by his research group to combat neurodegenerative diseases.

The special interactive session will highlight current research developments and what it takes to move the results of research out into the communities.

Dr. Joe Harding is a professor of physiology and neuroscience at WSU, and Chief Scientific Officer, director, and co-founder of Athira Pharma, a Seattle based company which is developing novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases based on technology developed at WSU.

Joe’s laboratory is focused on the development of small molecule therapeutics that target growth factors. These include both activators and antagonists. Most recently they have been developing activators of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which have powerful regenerative properties. Two of these molecule are poised to enter human clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to their potential utility in treating multiple neurodegenerative diseases they are currently being considered in his laboratory and collaborator’s laboratories as treatments for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, transplant reinnervation, hearing loss, general wound healing, fibrotic diseases, type II diabetes and congestive heart failure. Conversely they are actively developing and examining the utility of HGF and dual HGF/macrophage stimulating protein (MSP) antagonists as anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic therapeutics. Dual HGF/MSP antagonist have exhibited promising therapeutic activity in xenograph models of pancreatic cancer, which has up until now been untreatable. One of Athira Pharma’s drugs is poised to enter the final phase of human clinical trials.

Dr. Grant Norton is Dean of the Honors College and Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. In 2007, Professor Norton co-founded GoNano Technologies, a start-up company focused on applications of a unique nanomaterial platform. More recently, his research on next-generation battery materials was licensed to Seattle-based Intellectual Ventures. As an EFA, Norton shares his expertise with the National Science Foundation’s SBIR program, technology licensing, and developing business plans for early-stage funding.

Dr. Kim Christen a Professor in and the Director of the Digital Technology and Culture program and the Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. Her work explores the intersections of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, information ethics, and the use of digital technologies in and by Indigenous communities globally. She directs several projects including: the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a collaboratively curated site of Plateau cultural materials; Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source content management system and community access platform designed to meet the curatorial needs of Indigenous communities; and the Sustainable Heritage Network, an online initiative dedicated to making the preservation and digitization of cultural heritage materials sustainable, simple, and secure.

February Pub Talk

Science Pub: Family, Community and Distance – Research in Bolivia and India
Feb 4th, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St
Free Admission – $5.00 suggested donation (all donations support the Palouse Discovery Science Center)

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.

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.

This month’s speakers:

Join Anne Pisor and Io Palmer on February 4th at Paradise Creek Brewery for their pub talk “Family, Community and Distance – Research in Bolivia and India” Pisor and Palmer’s research stems from a singular question- Why and how do people build community? Through the movement of goods-fabric, food or communication, materials are used to build and maintain community.

Data from across the sciences suggest that humans are really flexible in our attitudes towards people from other places – these attitudes can range from aggressive to tolerant and everything in between. When and why do we build long-distance relationships? Pisor’s theoretical work suggests that long-distance family and friends can help when times get rough locally, or when something is only available where they live. Since 2010 she has collaborated with three populations of horticulturalists (slash-and-burn farmers) in the Bolivian Amazon. Though things are rough locally – their production is being negatively affected by floods, droughts, and windstorms, consequences of climate change – they are able to manage most of these effects in their communities. However, long-distance relationships are important for accessing things, both material and immaterial, from the city. During this talk Pisor will walk through who these long-distance relationships are with, how they are maintained, and why they matter in 2020.

Io Palmer’s research project titled Created Consumed and Scrubbed, addresses this question of community via the materiality of material. How do fabrics move through Indian societies. High end, finely woven and embedded silks and wool and cheap cotton tourist fabrics, move and create community and a language. Weddings are a multi million dollar business in India. Often lasting for days and planned to the smallest detail. Women come together to visit local fabric shops touching and desiring the abundance of hand and machine made material. Equally important to Palmer’s research are the tourist shops dotted along the western coast of southern India. Structures are built along the sea and display dresses, pants and shirts often made of fabrics woven and printed in India. Within these spaces tourists can purchase a memory. Another facet of Palmer’s research is in the space of the dhobi ghat- the open air laundries of India. A slowly disappearing part of this country, these dhobi ghats are entire communities of generational washer families who launder clothing from homes and industries throughout India. All these spaces weave together in a unique way to develop community through labor and commodity.

Dr. Ann Pisor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Pisor is an evolutionary and cultural anthropologist interested in why people have such far-flung social relationships – relationships that cross community, ethnic, religious, and even national boundaries – and the role these relationships play in managing fisheries and coping with climate change. She collaborates with three populations of horticulturalists living in the Bolivian Amazon, where she’s been working since 2010.

Pisor directs the Human Sociality Lab at WSU, focused on the evolution, form, and function of human social organization. Her most recent papers are in Behavioral Ecology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Evolution & Human Behavior, and Psychological Science, and her most recent grant is from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). She came to WSU from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in 2018.

Io Palmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at WSU. Palmer was born on Hydra – a motor-less Greek island off the coast of the Peleponesse. The first seven years of her life were spent amongst the donkeys, the fishes, the clear blue Mediterranean sea and the jazz music her parents listened to.

Through depictions of cleaning products, laborer’s garments and various other industrial and domestic forms, Palmer’s artworks explore the complex issues of class, capitalism and societal excess. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Io uses a variety of processes and materials including fabric, wood and sound.

Palmer has been featured in several national and international exhibitions of note. Some include the Dakar-International Arts Biennial, Dakar, Senegal; Working History, Reed College, Portland, OR; Hair Follies, Concordia University, Montreal and Rush Gallery, New York City, NY. Solo exhibitions include York College, CUNY, Jamaica, NY; Deluge Contemporary, Victoria, BC; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR and a two person exhibition at the Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City, MD. She has participated in several artist residencies including the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India; the Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM and the Ucross Foundation, Clermont WY. Io received an Idaho Commission on the Arts grant, 2014. And most recently was awarded a Fulbright Nehru Research Grant to India, 2018-2019. Io holds and MFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.