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Profs & Pints: Spiders, a Love Story

June 17, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0

$2 – $12

Profs and Pints presents: “Spiders, a Love Story,” with leading arachnid expert Linda S. Rayor, senior lecturer and senior research associate in Cornell University’s Department of Entomology and former co-host of the Science Channel’s Monster Bug Wars.

Spiders are the dominant terrestrial predators on Earth and have a major impact on most ecosystems. Humans have long looked upon them with a combination of fear and fascination, given their unusual biology and the ability of a few species to harm us with their venom. Most of us, however, have very little understanding of them, and their behavioral biology is far more interesting than commonly known.

Come learn all about arachnids from Linda Rayor, senior lecturer and senior research associate in Cornell University’s Department of Entomology, long-time researcher and lover of spiders, and former co-host of the Science Channel’s Monster Bug Wars. Her fascinating talk will weave together facts that will leave you appreciating spiders more than you have since Charlotte beckoned you from her web.

This presentation won’t be something you’d hear read aloud from a children’s book, however. No, Dr. Rayor is going to focus a lot on spider sex, which she sees as one of the richest areas of research in behavioral arachnology. Moreover, the sex she’ll be discussing is anything but “vanilla.” You’ll learn how spiders engage in multiple forms of seduction, and how many are into sexual cannibalism and genital mutilation. Extreme size differences in the sexes further spice things up. Much of her talk will be spun from her research on big huntsmen spiders, which she describes as “gorgeous” and “social.” Who wouldn’t swipe right if it meant having someone like that sitting beside them on a tuffet?

While conflict, competition, and cannibalism are the norm for most spider interactions, 2% of spiders live in cooperative groups. Dr. Rayor will describe what they get out of living with up to hundreds of their closest kin. She also will discuss the stunning array of adaptations that spiders have evolved to hunt better and avoid being eaten by their own diverse assortment of predators, and she’ll tell you how spider venom is being researched as a potential source of a treatment for many human diseases.

You won’t have to worry about getting washed down any water spouts, but the Bier Baron will have its beer taps flowing. (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please give yourself plenty of time to place any orders and get settled in.)

Details

Date:
June 17, 2019
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
Cost:
$2 – $12
Event Category:
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Venue

The Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037 United States
Phone:
202 293-1888
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Organizer

Profs and Pints
Email:
profsandpints@hotmail.com
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