Monday, September 8, 2008

Evolutionary ecology of city life at the Central Valley Café Scientifique tonight

Tonight, the Central Valley Café Scientifique presents a talk by yours truly! Here's the announcement:

Of junk food, city jive, & homelessness: the evolutionary ecology of city life

Dr. Madhusudan Katti, Dept. of Biology, California State University, Fresno

Monday, Sep 8, 2008, 6:30-8:30 PM

North India Grill

80 W Shaw Ave.,Clovis, CA 93612 ☎ (559) 325-7788 In the Village Square Shopping Center, S/W of Shaw at Minnewawa.

Go fishing in the bay for dinner, or fish KFC out of the dump - what’s an urban gull to eat? Scarf up the human handouts and you can start breeding early - but can a suburban scrub jay parent raise a family on that kind of food? What’s with the high-pitch songs of the Dutch urban tits? Why are there, often, more birds of fewer kinds in cities than outside them? And why might rich neighborhoods have more bird species than poorer neighborhoods?

As it turns out, recent research on these questions suggests that birds flock to cities (as do monkeys, raccoons and other of our urban commensals) for reasons not all that different from our own. I will draw upon research from my laboratory and elsewhere to explore the evolutionary ecology of how some species may become habitual urban dwellers, and what we might do to allow others to coexist with us amid sprawling cities.

And remember that the Central Valley Café Scientifique meets on the first Monday of every month (except this one because we had labor day last week!).

For more information, visit the website, and/or sign up to the Google Group.


noe September 28, 2008 at 6:39 PM  

There could be more birds of fewer kinds in cities due to the space that is available for them to occupy. As far as there being more bird species in richer neighborhoods than poor makes some sense. Richer neighborhoods are not nearly as crowded with buildings, houses and people as are poorer neighborhoods. It may be interesting to compare the population of people to bird species within a given area and see if density has anything to do with it.


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