April 26 2018

EPSS Geochemistry Seminar

Please join us for a geochemistry seminar by two members of EPSS:

Jeffrey Osterhout
"Preservation of carbon isotopes in thermally altered organic microfossils: Implications for Earth's early biosphere"

Dr. Prasanna Naidu
"Stable isotopes in water vapor and rainwater over Indian sector of Southern Ocean and estimation of the rainout fraction and the recycled moisture"

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Slichter 3853
3:30-4:30 pm


April 26 2018

Making Honey in Los Angeles County: From Flower to Jar

How do bees create honey here in Los Angeles County? Come see inside of a hive and explore bee ecology with beekeeper Eli Lichter-Marck of Eli's Bees. He'll take us on an adventure following honey as it transforms from flower to jar. He'll cover raising healthy bees, apiculture in our local ecology, and conservation and education.

The talk will be followed by a presentation of local honey varieties from main West LA nectar flows, with the opportunity to try different honeys and compare tasting notes!

This event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your spot: Eventbrite

Thurday, April 26, 2018
5:30pm
La Kretz Garden Pavilion


April 29 2018

UCLA IoES: Fossils as a Tool for Marine Restoration: Old Shells Provide New Insights for Santa Monica Bay

UCLA La Kretz Center 9th Annual Lecture

Fossils as a Tool for Marine Restoration: Old Shells Provide New Insights for Santa Monica Bay

One of the great challenges in conservation biology is discovering 'what was natural' before human impacts. This problem is especially pressing in marine systems where biological monitoring and other records are brief or lacking. Dr. Susan Kidwell has been tackling this problem in our Southern California marine ecosystems by treating the shells acquired during marine surveys as a young fossil record to reveal the dramatic, unsuspected changes in species composition and abundance that have occurred across much of our region. This reconstructed history of the last few thousand years highlights the profound transformation of seafloor communities in response to ~300 years of shifting land-use in the Los Angeles watershed, providing a powerful tool that can help set priorities for restoration.

Dr. Kidwell’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Mark Gold (UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability and Past President of Heal the Bay). Mark will be joined on stage by ocean conservation leaders and UCLA alumni Dr. Chad Nelson (CEO, the Surfrider Foundation), Dr. Craig Shuman (Marine Regional Manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife) and Dr. Shelley Luce (President and CEO of Heal the Bay) for a lively discussion and audience Q & A.

Please join us for an informative, thought-provoking afternoon as we discuss how to make our oceans healthier, more resilient ecosystems.

Sunday, April 29, 2018
3-5pm
Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA, 90263

For more information, please visit UCLA IoES

RSVP here


April 30 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Collective Behavior in a Slave-Making Ant: Coordination and Decision-Making During Raids

Julie Miller
Univeristy of California, Los Angeles

The slave-making ants are social parasites that steal their workers in coordinated raids on other colonies. Their parasitic lifestyle has made these ants a model of host-parasite co-evolution, however their charismatic brood-raiding behavior is virtually unstudied. Here I explore how colonies make collective decisions when selecting a raiding site and how colonies coordinate their attack. Slave-making has independently evolved multiple times in ants, but I focused this study on one species of North American slave-maker, Temnothorax americanus. I staged raids in table-top arenas in the lab to standardize conditions and made detailed observations of individual and colony-level behaviors. I found that the success of group raids depends on the ability of slave-makers to coordinate the timing of two roles: herding and guarding the entrance. Having established that raiding is a coordination problem, I then investigated how the colony selects a raiding site in the first place. I first measured colony preferences using choice experiments, but colonies demonstrated no preference for any size-related host features. This apparent lack of preference led to a separate question: why do colonies disregard fitness-relevant host variation? Theoretical work has offered suggestions about which conditions ought to favor low-choosiness, so I empirically tested whether they are met by T. americanus colonies, specifically testing the hypotheses that slave-makers experience (1) low host encounter rates, (2) high time constrains, or (3) low variability in host quality. To test these hypotheses, observations of lab raids were combined with spatial field data on host distribution and brood phenology. These data support that raiding is constrained by both the brief window of host brood availability, particularly of the highly valuable pupae, combined with low encounter rates of host colonies in the field. Variation in host nest quality was relatively high, and thus unlikely to favor low acceptance thresholds of slave-maker colonies. The implications of these results are that slave-maker colony raiding decisions are selected to maximize the number of raids per season, and not to selectively exploit the few most profitable ones.

April 30, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


May 5 2018

Feast & Flora: A Gourmet Botanical Campout on Tejon Ranch

May 5th/6th, 2018

Just over an hour's drive from downtown Los Angeles is the mystical Tejon Ranch, a landscape steeped in California history, ecological curiosities and botanical discovery. At 270,000 acres, Tejon Ranch is the largest contiguous private property in California and a place where many ecosystems converge. Visiting the Ranch in early May offers guests the opportunity to experience Joshua tree woodlands, high-elevation wildflowers, and the special "limestone gardens" full of rare plants. This overnight campout adventure includes guides and transportation on the ranch, with meals provided by Dirty Gourmet, a company that brings outdoor cooking to a new level and is celebrating the release of their new cookbook. Just bring a tent and personal supplies. Public access to Tejon Ranch is limited, so don't miss this opportunity to join the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, Dirty Gourmet, and the UCLA Botanical Garden for a fantastic weekend of natural beauty, delicious food, and new friends.

Ages 21+
Registration fee: $150

Space is extremely limited. Sign up today: Feast & Flora


May 7 2018

BEC Seminar Series: The Evolution and Ontogeny of Ethno-Linguistic Reasoning

Cristina Moya
University of California, Davis

The evolution and ontogeny of ethno-linguistic reasoning Abstract: While many social species are group living, linguistically or symbolically marked social groups, characterized by large repertoires of shared cultural norms and behaviours, are uniquely human. However, the evolutionary relevance and psychological underpinnings of such ethnic groups remains debated. In this talk, I will examine the possibility that the way humans learn about ethno-linguistic boundaries reveal the structure of adaptations for reasoning about these. I report on psychological and ethnographic research from the Quechua-Aymara border in the Peruvian altiplano, and cross-cultural comparative work that speak to these questions. Results reveal 1) the importance of distinguishing between functionally independent intergroup phenomena such as stereotyping and cooperation, 2) that children are prone to develop believe that linguistic boundaries are important and fixed, and 3) that cultural evolutionary processes are likely more important than genetically evolved biases in determining the form of ethnic boundaries. Further implications for models of human social evolution will be discussed.

May 7, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


May 7 2018

ISG: Cristina Moya "The Evolution and Ontogeny of Ethno-Linguistic Reasoning"

Cristina Moya
University of California, Davis

The evolution and ontogeny of ethno-linguistic reasoning Abstract: While many social species are group living, linguistically or symbolically marked social groups, characterized by large repertoires of shared cultural norms and behaviours, are uniquely human. However, the evolutionary relevance and psychological underpinnings of such ethnic groups remains debated. In this talk, I will examine the possibility that the way humans learn about ethno-linguistic boundaries reveal the structure of adaptations for reasoning about these. I report on psychological and ethnographic research from the Quechua-Aymara border in the Peruvian altiplano, and cross-cultural comparative work that speak to these questions. Results reveal 1) the importance of distinguishing between functionally independent intergroup phenomena such as stereotyping and cooperation, 2) that children are prone to develop believe that linguistic boundaries are important and fixed, and 3) that cultural evolutionary processes are likely more important than genetically evolved biases in determining the form of ethnic boundaries. Further implications for models of human social evolution will be discussed.

Monday, May 7, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352

For more information, please visit ISG


May 9 2018

ISG: Clemence Pinel "The Construction of the 'Environment' in Epigenetics Research: A Social Study"

Clemence Pinel
Kings College, London

"The Construction of the ‘Environment’ in Epigenetics Research: A Social Study"

Epigenetics research highlights the importance of environmental factors that can impact gene regulation by leaving marks on the epigenome. Drawing upon findings from an ethnographic study carried out in two epigenetic research laboratories in the United Kingdom, I explore the notion of environment as a vehicle that enables teams to do what they do. I show that specific articulations of the environment in epigenetics facilitate research entrepreneurship. That is, specific understandings of the environment are mobilised by scientists to connect with other teams and build research collaborations. Drawing upon Stephen Hilgartner’s notion of knowledge-control regimes, I discuss how the labs engage with a series of actors and form collaborations in order to construct epigenetics knowledge, while analysing how the labs organise the travelling of assets, such as data, expertise or technologies, outside of the laboratories’ borders. This leads me to examine the governance regimes put into place by the labs to remain in control of their assets and argue that what is at stake is the maintenance of proprietary control over knowledge.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
1:00-2:00 pm
3314 Life Sciences Building, UCLA

For more information, please visit ISG


May 12 2018

UCLA IoES: Parrots of Pasadena

Parrots of Pasadena walk, talk & cocktail reception with Professor Ursula K. Heise. A Bird LA Day event sponsored by UCLA’s Lab for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) of the Institute of the Environment & Sustainability. Meet at the corner of Fair Oaks and Washington Blvds.

Saturday, May 12, 2018
6:30-8:00pm

La Pintoresca Park
45 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103

For more information, please visit IoES


May 14 2018

UCLA IoES: Oppenheim Lecture

Animation and Environment: A Conversation with the Creator of Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and A Bug’s Life

For more information, please visit UCLA IoES


May 14 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Stress, Resilience, and Embodiment of Cardiometabolic Risk in Children of Hispanic Immigrants

Amy Non
University of California, San Diego

Hispanic immigrants represent the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the US. Thus, an important research focus for the future health of the US is to determine factors that influence the declining health of immigrants with more time lived in the US, and across generations. Much research has focused on the adoption of poorer health behaviors with acculturation, but less attention has focused on the role of psychosocial stress, or resilience factors, experienced by immigrant mothers or their children. Through focus groups and extensive structured interviews with Hispanic immigrant mothers and their children (aged 6-13) in Nashville, TN, we examined a range of psychosocial stress exposures, such as work-family tradeoff and limited freedom/mobility, and resilience factors, such as optimism and social support. I will also discuss results of ongoing quantitative analyses exploring hormonal and epigenetic mechanisms through which these stressors may become biologically embedded to predispose children of Hispanic descent to higher risk for cardiometabolic diseases.

May 14, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


May 18 2018

ISG: Dr. Jenny Reardon "The Postgenomic Condition: Justice, Knowledge, Life After the Genome"

Dr. Jenny Reardon
University of California, Santa Cruz

"The Postgenomic Condition: Justice, Knowledge, Life After the Genome"

Now that we have sequenced the human genome, what does it mean? This talk critically examines the decade after the Human Genome Project, and the fundamental questions about meaning, value and justice this landmark achievement left in its wake. Drawing on more than a decade of research—in molecular biology labs, commercial startups, governmental agencies, and civic spaces—it explores how efforts to transform genomics from high tech informatics practiced by a few to meaningful knowledge beneficial to all exposed the limits of long-cherished liberal modes of knowing and governing life. Cases from the American South to the Scottish highlands will illustrate the challenges faced by scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, bioethicists, lawyers, and patient advocates who leveraged liberal democratic practices to endeavor to make genomic data valuable for interpreting and caring for life. It brings into rich empirical focus the resulting hard on-the-ground questions about how to know and live on a depleted but data-rich, interconnected yet fractured planet, where technoscience garners significant resources, but deeper questions of knowledge and justice urgently demand attention.

Friday, May 18, 2018
1:00-2:30 pm
La Kretz Garden Pavilion Room 101, UCLA

For more information, please visit ISG


May 21 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Exploration versus Exploitation in Collective Problem Solving

P.J. Lamberson
University of California, Los Angeles

May 21, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC


June 4 2018

BEC Seminar Series: Social Dominance Theory and the Dynamics of Gendered Prejudice

Jim Sidanius
Harvard University

Using Social Dominance and evolutionary theory as theoretical frameworks, we argue for a model entitled the Theory of Gendered Prejudice (TGP), which in broad terms, suggests that arbitrary-set discrimination must be understood as an inherently gendered phenomenon. Employing multiple methodologies, I argue that: 1) In general, males will display higher levels of xenophobia, discrimination, social predation, and social dominance orientation than will females, everything else being equal. 2) Males will tend to be both the primary perpetrators, and the primary victims of arbitrary-set discrimination. 3) The motives for outgroup discrimination are somewhat different for males and females.

June 4, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Haines Hall 352, UCLA

For more information, please visit BEC