Monday, April 8, 2013, 6:00 – 7:30pm

UW Science Now: Sara Bender: Exploring the Appetites of Marine Microbes

The Pub at Town Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue. $5. Double feature!


UWScienceSaraBenderSome microscopic marine organisms, known as phytoplankton, help sustain our planet by producing oxygen. But as the drifters of the sea, they are subject to a constantly changing environment: Ocean mixing creates uncertain meal times, with necessary nutrients here one hour and gone the next—and scavenged by up to 10 million other microscopic organisms. Sara Bender, a Ph.D. candidate in UW’s School of Oceanography, has found that one group of phytoplankton known as diatoms has adapted a somewhat unorthodox method for dealing with such tumultuous environments: rapid nutrient uptake, a messy, competitive-eating approach that helps diatoms outcompete other marine microbes for nutrients. Bender explores the success of diatoms in the marine environment and discusses the role of evolution in enabling these “hungry” microbes to beat out other phytoplankton for precious fleeting nutrients. Presented by Town Hall and UW’s Engage: The Science Speaker Series as part of The Seattle Science Lectures, with the University of Washington, Pacific Science Center and University Book Store. Series sponsored by Microsoft. Series media sponsorship provided by KPLU.
Advance tickets are $5 at or 888/377-4510 and at the door beginning at 5:30 pm. The Pub at Town Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue. Double feature! Your ticket to this event also gains entry to Mary Roach: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal at 7:30 pm.

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