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Come enjoy a beer while we dig in the past
Recreating ancient vision proteins in the lab
Belinda Chang (Professor Departments of Cell & Systems, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Recreating the evolutionary history of how proteins have changed over time can provide valuable insight into how and why those proteins work the way they do. It can also tell us more about the biology and ecology of ancient animals that once existed on earth millions of years ago, insights that are otherwise difficult to achieve. I will discuss an example using visual proteins that form the first step in the vision in animals.
Ancient climates revealed from muddy peat bog cores
Sarah Finkelstein (Associate Professor of Earth Sciences)
Northern Ontario is covered in wetlands. These muddy ecosystems known as “muskeg” provide wildlife habitat, and they suck up carbon in the form of poorly decomposed peat mosses. Furthermore, these mosses accumulate over centuries and millennia, and provide us with a rich archive of climate and environmental history. I will show you how we use microscopic fossils and geochemical tracers to reveal how the great ice sheets rose and fell, and the range of natural climate variability prior to the onset of the Anthropocene.