Science Cafe will be a Zoom series until further notice. It is recommended to register using the link beforehand.
Discussion Title: Pollination Puzzles in the South
Bashira is a researcher in pollination ecology at Auburn University with a specific interest in how knowledge about pollination can serve rare and threatened plants in the Southeastern U.S. She works with Auburn University entomologists to study the ecology and conservation of Alabama’s endangered Spigelia (or pinkroots) along with two federally-listed threatened pea plants, Apios priceana and Dalea foliosa.
Description of the talk: The Southeast is a melting pot of plant diversity, with species drawing their ancestral heritage from around the globe. While plants remain rooted in their past, they have adapted to a variety of habitats across the South, and this has created a dazzling array of plant form and function. This talk will explore how one group of plants, the genus Spigelia, migrated from South America to the Southeast, transforming in its journey from tropical forests in Columbia and Brazil to temperate woodlands in Alabama and Tennessee. Along the way, you will gain a crash course in pollination, as the science of how plants date and mate is fundamental to uncover how a slice of the tropics made a home next door.