Hot Science – Cool Talks

Hot Science – Cool Talks Events

Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our mailing list to receive information when registration becomes available.

Hurricane Harvey: Flood Emergency Response

Hurricane Harvey: Flood Emergency Response

David Maidment, Professor, Civil Engineering
University of Texas
Sarah Labowitz, Head of Communications and Policy,
Community Development Dept., City of Houston
Melissa Huffman, Lead Meteorologist
National Weather Service - Austin/San Antonio, TX
Suzanne Pierce, Research Scientist
Texas Advanced Computing Center

Hurricane Harvey was the most significant severe storm of 3-5 days duration in United States history, raining 50 inches or more in parts of Texas. A new National Water Model can forecast water flow in streams and rivers similar to how the National Weather Service forecasts weather. David Maidment shares his experience applying this model to Texas, including his behind-the-scenes experience working in the State Operations Center during Hurricane Harvey and his recommendations for how Texas can become resilient in the face of future large-scale floods. For the Q&A session, David will be joined by a panel of experts on disaster recovery. Registration will open three weeks prior to event date.

Co-sponsored by Planet Texas 2050, UT’s first grand challenge research initiative that’s bringing together more than 100 researchers from across campus to find ways to make Texas more resilient in the face of rapid population growth and climate extremes. Additional support provided by the Leon Jones Hot Science - Cool Talks Endowment.

Fire Ants, Crazy Ants & Zombie Ants

Fire Ants, Crazy Ants & Zombie Ants

Dr. Rob Plowes
Research Scientist, Integrative Biology
University of Texas

The red imported fire ant is an invasive species in Texas that can produce life-threatening allergic reactions in people, and has major costs to the agricultural economy and causes severe impacts to native fauna. Dr. Rob Plowes shares insights into fire ant behavior and discusses remarkable biological control opportunity. Dr. Plowes researches one of fire ants’ deadliest enemies - tiny phorid flies, which actually turn ants into zombie-like, living incubators for their offspring. He also describes research approaches to other invasive species in Texas. Registration opens three weeks prior to event.

A Taste for the Beautiful

A Taste for the Beautiful

Dr. Michael J. Ryan
Professor, Integrative Biology
University of Texas

Why do animals perceive certain traits as beautiful and others not? While Darwin explained why the animal world abounds in stunning beauty, he struggled to understand how. Dr. Michael Ryan, one of the world’s leading authorities on animal behavior, tells the remarkable story of how he and other scientists have taken up where Darwin left off and transformed our understanding of sexual selection. Join Dr. Ryan as he explores how beauty is defined through the brain of the beholder. Registration opens three weeks prior to event.