Addressing Cannibalism

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Dr. Volker Rudolf, the assistant professor in Rice University’s ecology and evolutionary biology department, will host a seminar to discuss the processes that influence the numbers and types of species living together in an ecosystem.

The seminar will be held in Lee Drain Building, Room 214, Thursday, Oct.1, at 4 p.m.

Cannibalism is the particular influence of which Rudolf will be discussing. Rudolf’s research indicates that cannibalism, or members of the same species eating each other, “can have very strong affects on the number of individuals of a species living in an ecosystem,” said Chad Hargrave, assistant professor of biological sciences at Sam Houston State University.

Rudolf has researched these ideas with salamanders, and dragonflies, and will demonstrate how “the size structure of a population can influence the number of cannibalistic interactions, influencing the species and comprising the community,” Hargrave said.

“He also has demonstrated that these cannibalistic interactions often depend on the age of an individual,” Hargrave said. “the bigger ones are typically the ones with cannibalistic traits.”

The seminar is open to the public and if you go early the biology department will have a pre seminar with coffee and cookies.

The biology department will host this seminar as part of its Fall Seminar Series. Guest speakers or professors from “universities across the world come and give a 45 minute presentation about their research,” said Hargrave. They present this information in a way that the general public can understand and learn more about current research being conducted.

These seminars are held each Thursday in the LDB. To see topics of other seminars, or to find out what guest professors will be speaking in the seminars to be held in coming weeks of the fall semester, go to the Biology Department’s page on the SHSU website.