May 11 2016

4:00 pm 158 Hershey Hall

Warren Porter
UW Madison

Understanding-Climates-Landscapes-Animals Understanding-Climates-Landscapes-Animals


19th Annual Biology Research Symposium
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
4:00pm, Hershey Hall 158

Dr. Warren Porter
UW Madison


This talk will describe how we have been using skills originally developed at UCLA that have evolved into a merger of 3D art, animation, biology and engineering to explore animal design, energetics, behavior, and distributions in space and time. Our journey will start in the Mojave, we will board an elephant, then travel the oceans and tropical islands exploring modern and future climate impacts on sea turtles and conclude by traveling back in time to the Jurassic to study some locals.

Like last years speaker, Dr. Christina Swanson, I have always loved fish and being outdoors, something my dad and I loved to do together. I had a wonderful high school biology teacher, Robert Smitty Smith, who helped me realize that in a career in biology was what I really wanted. I was lucky to have Dr. Arthur Hasler as my undergraduate advisor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was a worlds leading expert in fish navigation and orientation. He was partly responsible for my decision to apply to UCLA where I wanted to become a marine biologist. After receiving my masters degree at UCLA in Ichthyology, I changed directions and began to work with a wonderfully joyous, creative, out-of-the-box thinker, Dr. Ken Norris, who taught me the beauties of the desert and all the wonderful problems associated with heat and mass transfer between animals and their environment. As part of that learning process he invited Dr. David Gates to UCLA for a couple of lectures on a new discipline called biophysical ecology and I was hooked. I was fortunate to be able to have a two-year postdoc with Dr. Gates after receiving my PhD at UCLA in physiological ecology. Dr. Gates invited Dr. Hasler from Madison as part of a National Academy of Sciences team to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where he was director at the time. I was invited to a social hour after their meeting and met Dr. Hasler again who asked me what I was doing. I told him and he replied, Why dont you come up and give us a seminar\? I agreed and when I stepped off the plane there were three faculty members waiting for me and that was the first I knew I was being recruited back to Madison. It was my birthplace and the last place I expected to return, but the interdisciplinary nature of the campus and the easy collegiality between departments and within my department were marvelous opportunities that have allowed me to grow and learn new disciplines that have been the lifeblood of my career.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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