We are back once more for another edition of Nerd Nite Vancouver! This will be our last event before the holidays, so be sure to get your fill of nerdy fun! A sneak peak of our upcoming event is below, and really, who can resist talking about poop?
Where: Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive)
When: Wednesday, November 19th 2014 @ 8pm (Doors @ 7:30pm)
Tickets: $2 dollars at the door
#1 The walking “nearly” dead: parasite manipulation of host behaviour
Though at times it may be refreshing to have decisions made for us, the ability to choose how we spend our days is something we non-parasitized may take for granted. From fungi, to nematodes, to wasps, some parasitic species have adapted the amazing ability to manipulate their host’s behaviour in a way that goes beyond the horror of any zombie-themed t.v. series. Get ready to explore the fascinating world of host-parasite interactions – where the microscopic have tremendous influences. We will discuss the diversity of parasites that manipulate not only host behavior but also host appearance; all in an effort to complete their life cycle and start the process all over again.
Bio: Kaylee Byers is one of the Vancouver Nerd Nite co-bosses and just loves science. She is a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia where she studies rats, their fleas, and the diseases they carry (vancouverratproject.com). Sometimes she goes on rat safaris. When she’s not reading about creepy critters or staring through a microscope, she’s on the search for Vancouver’s best taco.
#2 Loving your cooties – how advances in genomic technology is shaping our understanding of the microbes on and around us
Your poop is probably something that you don’t dwell too much upon, but poop is a hot topic in the emerging field of metagenomics – why? It’s because in, on and around us are tiny microbes that play important roles in our wellness and of the health of the environment around us. And your poop is littered with them. In this brief, and hopefully entertaining, conversation I will outline where metagenomics came from and simply describe the technological advances it required to get here. I will highlight some interesting work on the Human and Earth Microbiome projects, and speculate on the promise and perils of this new science. You will leave convinced that the future is undoubtedly in poop.
Bio: Ana received an undergraduate from Queen’s University in Biomedical Computing, and a Master of Science at UBC with the Bioinformatics Training Program. Following graduate school she worked at GenomeDx Biosciences, where she further refined her skills by obtaining certification in Professional Project Management. Ana joined the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2013 as “Thinker/Doer” (or more formally “Bioinformatician & Biostatistician”), working with Dr. Jennifer Gardy.
When not probing the depths of the microbial world with the powers of science and statistics, Ana can be seen running around – literally. She competes for fun in running races and triathlons, and can often be found trekking through BCs beautiful mountains.
#3 Saving sea lions
Dr. Martin Haulena
Join the Vancouver Aquarium’s Head of Veterinary Medicine as he shares stories of rescuing sea lions in the field. Sea lions are charismatic marine mammals that are found along the West Coast of North America. Related to seals, sea lions are also pinnipeds that are often seen lying on rocks, docks and other objects. Recently, more and more sea lions in the Canadian province of British Columbia have been in distress; they have become entangled in various types of debris that can cause severe injuries and even result in death. Find out how the Vancouver Aquarium is saving the lives of sea lions in British Columbia.
Bio: Martin Haulena graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 1993. He completed a clinical internship in aquatic animal medicine at Mystic Aquarium in 1996 and a Master’s degree in pathobiology from the University of Guelph in 1999. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine in 2007. Dr. Haulena was the Staff Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California for 9 years. He has been Staff Veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium since 2006. His special interests are in the medical management of aquatic animals, particularly marine mammals, with emphasis on innovative diagnostic methods such as MRIs, endoscopy and sonography, developing safe anaesthetic protocols and improving surgical techniques. Veterinary students from around the world study aquatic animal medicine each year under the direction of Dr. Haulena. He serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. His professional affiliations include the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Wildlife Disease Association and the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians. He has authored over 45 scientific journal articles and book chapters.