ODU BIOLOGY

The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bees and UV cues



Check out the latest work by Associate Professor Lisa Horth on the effect of floral UV cues in attacting bees to flowers just published:
Horth, L., L. Campbell & R. Bray. 2014.  Wild bees preferentially visit Rudbeckia flower heads with exaggerated ultraviolet absorbing floral guides. Biology Open (2014) 3, 221–230 doi:10.1242/bio.20146445
 
This research demonstrates for the first time that floral guides are not just important in directing pollinators to floral reward, but also in recruiting pollinators to flowers from a distance.

The ultraviolet absorbent floral guides found on black eyed susans were manipulated to be larger and smaller than they typically are in nature. 

This ultraviolet absorbent pattern forms a 'bullseye' around the center of the flower where pollen and nectar rewards are located.

In this study the size of that bullseye was diminished and enlarged. Bees preferred enlarged cues and recruited to flowers from a distance more often when this cue was big.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More ODU birding news

Eric Walters' bird work makes the news as part of migration tracking study being conducted in the area. Andrew Arnold is a MS student working with Dr Walters on this study. Check out the story in the pilot...Tracking migratory birds

Ocean acidificiation affects clams

Biology faculty member Dr Lisa Horth and her graduate student Rebecca Walawender examine the effects of ocean acidification as part of a wider study led by Professor R. Zimmerman from the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at ODU. Check it out.....Eelgrasses, Clams, and Ocean Acidification.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dr. Walters featured in new documentary film

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Blackfish, an award winning documentary about the captive killer whale industry hit theaters nationwide on July 26th. The films focuses on Tilikum, the world's largest captive killer whale, who has taken the lives of 3 humans during his 30 years of captivity. Tilikum is currently housed at Sea World Orlando and was involved in the death of a Sea World trainer in 2010. Dr. Walters, an assistant professor in our department, is featured in the film. He worked with Tilikum as a whale trainer from 1987 to 1989 and so the film makers wanted his perspective on Tilikum's early years in captivity. Because of Dr. Walters' experience working with Tilikum, combined with many years conducting research on wild killer whales in his native British Columbia, he was called as an expert witness in 1991after Tilikum was implicated in the death of a whale trainer, the first human death ever attributed to a killer whale.

Read more about this at News@ODU



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tick Robot

What is the first thing you thought about with the title ... a robotic tick?  Well think again, this is a robot that may help us eliminate the pesky ticks that inhabit our playgrounds, be it the home back yard or a public park area. Check out what ODU faculty, Dr Holly Gaff  and Emeritus Professor Dan Sonenshine have been up to with a team of engineers from VMI.....

Tick killing robot
ABC News
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