Recordings: QuaranTEEN Virtual Science Cafés

Recordings – 2020

October 8: “Wildlife Forensics” with Tom Rounsville, Ph.D.

It’s time to put on your thinking cap and help Tom Rounsville, Molecular Diagnostic Professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension do a Wildlife Forensics investigation! Using many of the same techniques the police investigators use in criminal cases, you’ll see how crimes against wildlife are solved, and what it takes to charge the guilty party!

Tom Rounsville, a Molecular Diagnostic Professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is an expert in DNA testing and investigates ticks for the presence of infectious agents. He also works with other Extension scientists and personnel to develop DNA technologies relevant to their respective fields and research needs.

June 9: “Mapping of Natural Disaster Prone Areas” with Dr. Tora Johnson

Computer mapping technology is everywhere these days, and it plays an important role in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Dr. Tora Johnson from the University of Maine at Machias will show how she and her students use this technology to find areas that are most prone to such disasters, for instance, by making a map of a town and then “flooding” it. She’ll also share online tools that anyone can use with a computer or cell phone to make maps, and discuss exciting careers in computer mapping.

Dr. Tora Johnson teaches computer mapping and environmental studies at the University of Maine at Machias where she directs the GIS Laboratory and is chair of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Dr. Johnson’s current research focuses on political conflicts over marine and coastal resources and making high-tech maps for use in decision making. In-service projects through the UMM GIS Service Center, Dr. Johnson, and her students work with people in Downeast Maine to help them conserve natural resources and plan for a prosperous and sustainable future. She has collaborated with installation artists and sculptors on community-based and place-based installation art projects.

June 2: “Bio-Inspired Engineering” with Dr. Caitlin Howell

Nature has had millions of years to figure out solutions to some very complex engineering problems. In this session, I’ll talk about some incredible examples of Nature as an Engineer, including the how and why behind iridescent butterfly wings, hunting pitcher plants, color-changing squid skin, and ram skulls that can take hit after hit without damage. We’ll also discuss how humans are beginning to learn to take those ideas and adapt them to solve our own problems such as paint that never fades, surfaces that nothing can stick to, color-changing surfaces, and football helmets that protect their wearers from harm.  

Caitlin Howell is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University. Her lab focuses on adapting solutions from Nature into technology that can make life better, with a special focus on healthcare materials.

May 26: “Decoding the Interaction of Light and (Human) Tissue” with Dr. Karissa Tilbury

How do lights and lasers provide information about cellular and tissue physiology? How did Dr. Tilbury get involved in biomedical optics research and the importance of mentors?    

Karissa Tilbury is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Maine. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and a postdoc at Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center.

May 19: “Talking Trash – The Science of Archaeology” with Dr. Erin McDonald, Archaeology

If you ever wanted to know what being an archaeologist is really like (HINT: Indiana Jones should have been spending a lot more time filling out paperwork), now is your chance! Dr. McDonald will discuss the variety of ways in which archaeologists study the past, including her research on ancient pollen and farming practices from thousands of years ago.

May 12: “From Madagascar to Maine: Adventures in Field Biology” with Dr. Danielle Levesque

In this video, join Dr. Danielle Levesque, Assistant Professor at the University of Maine, as she shares stories from her time as a field biologist in Canada, South Africa, Madagascar, Borneo, and Maine where she has studied exotic animals like tenrecs and treeshrews as well as common backyard North American species like chipmunks and flying squirrels.

May 5: “There’s SCIENCE in my FOOD?” with Jason Bolton, Ph.D.

In this video, join Jason Bolton, Ph.D. is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist (and Academic Director of Foster Center for Student Innovation), as he explains Food Science, how he discovered this applied science and describes an average day in the life of a food safety specialist.

April 28: “The Master Manipulators of Bacterial Populations” with Dr. Sally Molloy

Join Dr. Scarlett Tudor, Research and Outreach Coordinator for the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Maine, Orono as she talks about the “Master Manipulator of Bacterial Populations”: Bacteriophage.

April 21: “Raising Beef Cattle in the Modern Era” with Dr. Colt Knight

Dr. Knight will discuss innovative technologies in the beef industry, including tracking grazing behavior with GPS tracking collars and why that is so important.

Dr. Colt Knight is an Assistant Extension Professor, University of Maine and serves as State Livestock Specialist for Cooperative Extension. He is an avid outdoorsman and owns a small farm raising poultry and pigs.

April 14: “Product Development and the Science of Emulsions” with Chef Rob Dumas

Chef Rob Dumas, Food Science Innovation Coordinator, brings 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation. Chef Rob has a diverse background ranging from cooking for the President and first family to teaching culinary arts and meat fabrication at the New England Culinary Institute. His current work with UMaine allows him to focus on his passion for local and seasonal food while working as a resource to the state’s agricultural industries.

April 7: “The Moldy Plant Detective!” with Dr. Alicyn Smart

Dr. Alicyn Smart is a Plant Pathologist at the University of Maine and is the Director of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab where she works with farmers and homeowners to identify diseases on their plants. She is co-owner of a strawberry farm and because of her interest in strawberries, she does research on diseases that affect them. During her Café, she will discuss how she fell in love with plant diseases and how she helps ensure your strawberries are not getting moldy in your fridge and explains how orange juice might not be so easy to get in the future because of a plant disease!

March 31: “Something’s Fishy” with Dr. Scarlett Tudor!

Dr. Scarlett Tudor is the Research and Outreach Coordinator for the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Maine, Orono. Her research interests are in the fields of animal behavior, fish reproduction, and aquaculture. Her scientific path started doing research on how different environments alter fish reproductive behavior. Since moving to Maine she has done research on fish species important to aquaculture, such as the Atlantic salmon. She will be discussing how fish communicate with one another and the different ways in which fish reproduce.

Maine 4-H Virtual Teen Science Cafes are provided with generous support from the Alton ’38 and Adelaide Hamm Campus Activity Fund.