> Nerd Nite No. 61: Plant Intelligence, Macrophages, and Park Ranger Life. Plus SKELETOR!

Nerd Nite No. 61: Plant Intelligence, Macrophages, and Park Ranger Life. Plus SKELETOR!

It’s time for another Nerd Nite! Here’s what we have planned for you:

Sophia Seifert, “Plant Intelligence”

Plants are the oldest and most massive organisms on earth. However, our chlorophyll-filled friends are able to do much more than just grow big and old: they can communicate, share, and even remember. We will explore some of the amazing things that the earliest land-dwellers can do and, in the process, challenge what it means to be intelligent.

BIO: Sophia has spent the better part of the last decade as a science teacher in Philadelphia’s public and charter schools. While in the classroom, she wrote and delivered an interdisciplinary middle school curriculum called Science and Society that explored everything from the neuroscience of mindfulness to (you guessed it) organic gardening and food security. These days, Sophia works at the Philadelphia School Partnership supporting collaboration between schools and at Penn Graduate School of Education training new science teachers.

Ritama Gupta, “White Blood Cells and Red Blood Cells : A Love Story”

A type of white blood cell called Macrophages have long been revered in the scientific world as superhuman defenders of the body. They eat up germs that invade us and keep us healthy. But recent research reveals a new identity for these cells. Macrophages are also essential for red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen in your body. We dug deeper and looked into the genome of these cells. Turns out the genes are telling an interesting story, and we’re listening.

BIO: Ritama is currently pursuing her PhD in Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. She recently moved with her lab to the department of Hematology of the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia at University of Pennsylvania. A lot of her research is primarily on mice, investigating hematological disorders and sequencing the RNA of macrophages in these disorders. She always has her ear out for interesting hematological findings, and she will most definitely swap fun science stories for beer and some good old cider.

Tom Bryan, “Hey Mr. Ranger!”

Pennsylvania Park Ranger Tom Bryan will discuss how to become a ranger, various aspects of the job, and provide lots of anecdotes of daily life on duty.

BIO: Tom Bryan has worked as a ranger for 10 years at the federal and county levels.  He began his career as a visitor use assistant at Hopewell Furnace and Valley Forge national historic sites.  He is currently working for Montgomery County Parks, Trails and Historic sites as a Ranger. He holds current lethal weapons, boating, outdoor education, FEMA and wildland firefighting certifications.

Plus: Entertainment (and evil!) from returning Nerd Nite favorite SKELETOR!

Doors open at 4pm. Show at 7:30pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure getting a good seat!

Wednesday, June 1st
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue


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