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Science on Tap 7/24 - Summer of the Sharks: Studying Ocean Predators (Photo) - 07/09/24

Date: Wed, July 24, 2024

Time: 7 pm

Location: Alberta Rose Theatre

Tickets: $15-$45

Event Website: https://www.scienceontaporwa.org/events/alberta_july_24_sharks/

The word “shark” has historically conjured images of a mindless, man-eating machine. Yet there are over 500 shark species of all shapes and sizes, consuming everything from seagrass to marine mammals. All are critical to our oceans, and their presence usually indicates that an ecosystem is healthy. However, in order to reverse their decline, we need to know more about them.

How do sharks behave? 
What is their population size? 
How old do they get?
How many young do they have?

Getting answers is a huge challenge – how do you study something that is out of sight and sometimes larger than your own boats? Oregon’s waters are home to 15 shark species, but a dedicated research program was only recently established for these animals – the Big Fish Lab at Oregon State University. At this Science on Tap, learn about their innovative research methods, from animal-borne cameras and “FitBits” to satellite tracking to drone footage, as well as why this information is critical to conservation.

Some of their scientists have been featured on Shark Week, BBC and National Geographic, so come prepared with all of your questions about sharks, shark science, and sharks in the public eye!

Dr. Alexandra (Alex) McInturf (she/her) is a research associate in the Big Fish Lab (BFL) at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on the social lives of sharks and tracking their movements and assessing the diets of many species. She completed her PhD in Animal Behavior at the University of California, Davis in 2021. She has been with the Big Fish Lab since then, where she conducts her research, mentors the BFL’s many undergraduate and graduate students, and leads community engagement efforts.


Science on Tap is a science lecture series where you can sit back, drink a pint, and enjoy learning. Listen to experts talk about the science in your neighborhood and around the world. You don't have to be a science geek to have fun--all you need is a thirst for knowledge! For more information on this event or about Science on Tap, visit Science on Tap OR WA.

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Science on Tap 7/10 - Good Vibrations: Pest Control Using Robots (Photo) - 06/27/24

Date: Wed, July 10, 2024

Time: 7 pm

Location: Kiggins Theatre Vancouver, Wa

Tickets: $15-$45

Event Website: https://www.scienceontaporwa.org/events/kiggins_july_10_pest-control/

What if we could control for pests with vibrations instead of chemicals?

Pesticides, as we all know, can wreak environmental havoc. Yet, the treehopper insect is the fear of vineyard operators in the PNW, as it spreads devastating red blotch disease. And brown marmorated stink bugs are the bane of hazelnut crops. What alternatives are out there for farmers?

What if we used the knowledge that bugs talk to each other via vibrations, especially during mating time? Researchers have developed a device called the “Pied Piper”, which can be taught bug “languages” and then used to mimic them. It then “communicates” with insects by luring them out into the open, and confusing them into missing their mating window. A nonlethal, targeted, organic option that eliminates pesticide runoff into the environment and can be reused.

At this Science on Tap, learn about how this approach could be applied to other pests (researchers are expanding the Pied Piper’s repertoire to other bugs, like brown marmorated stink bugs) and what work has been done so far.

Vaughn Walton serves as a leader in OSU’s Horticultural Pest Management team in diverse integrated pest management programmatic areas.  His work includes research in integrated pest management (IPM) for small fruit and on tree crops. Walton employs both ecologically and mechanistic information to manage these pests from a whole-system perspective.


Science on Tap is a science lecture series where you can sit back, drink a pint, and enjoy learning. Listen to experts talk about the science in your neighborhood and around the world. You don't have to be a science geek to have fun--all you need is a thirst for knowledge! For more information on this event or about Science on Tap, visit Science on Tap OR WA.

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