evolution through a lens

2012 Entries

The Desmostylians of Orange County (2:58 minutes)
Filmmaker: Gabriel Santos
Affiliation: Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center
Team members: Justin Santos

With 180 million years of history, Orange County has been home to many unique evolutionary
wonders, but none are as strange and mysterious as the Desmostylians. Follow Cooper Center
student researcher, Gabriel Santos, as he teaches us about the unique traits and lineage
of these puzzling ancient beasts: https://vimeo.com/44845841.

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Organizational skills of harvester ants (1:15 minutes)
Filmmaker: Lara Appleby
Affiliation: University of Houston
Team members: Blaine Cole, James Devall

Watch a time lapse video of harvester ants tidying house. In this video, five days of hustle
and bustle in an ant colony are compressed to just 30 seconds:  http://vimeo.com/42220548.

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Henrik Kusche and the cichlids (2:57 minutes)
Filmmaker: Henrik Kusche
Affiliation: International Max-Planck Research School for Organismal Biology + University of Konstanz (Germany)
Team members: Lukas Piechowski, Christian Maier, Ioanna Salvarina, Ali Afify, Marieke Frassl, Andrea Gehrold

How do new species arise? Researcher Henrik Kusche explains how he’s tackling this
question using tropical fish living in isolated crater lakes in Nicaragua.
Watch more at http://vimeo.com/42560631.

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Singing in the rain (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Iliana Medina
Affiliation: NESCent and Australia National University
Team members: Clinton Francis

Noise from falling rain and howling wind can pose a problem for singing birds. Learn how
birds ensure that their songs are heard no matter what the habitat: http://vimeo.com/41270940.

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Beyond natural evolution (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Brad Herring
Affiliation: North Carolina Museum of Life and Science

Some species are near extinction because they can’t evolve quick enough to
fight off invasive species. We can influence this process by genetically engineering
animals to be better equipped to meet these demands. But, what are the societal and
ethical implications of introducing genetically modified species into the world
when long-term implications are unknown? Should we intervene in the natural evolution
of one species to prevent another species from going extinct?
Watch more at https://vimeo.com/44613632.

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Investigating the evolution of infidelity (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Martha Essak
Affiliation: University of British Columbia

Over 75 people have contributed to the Mandarte Island song sparrow study, which has spanned
over 35 years. Learn about a team of researchers who are investigating the evolution of
infidelity in this island population of song sparrows:  https://vimeo.com/44845088.

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Lessons from evolution: dating with Darwin (2:57 minutes)
Filmmaker: Megan Head
Affiliation: University of Exeter
Animation, script, sound effects – Dr. Amber Teacher (University of Helsinki & University of Exeter) & Dr. Megan Head (University of Exeter)
Voice of Darwin – Robin Griffiths
Voice of Lucas – David Griffiths (FoAM Brussels)
Sound editing – David Griffiths (FoAM Brussels)

Many animals including humans have evolved extravagant displays that are used for
attracting mates. Here Darwin takes Lucas on a journey through the animal kingdom
to give him ideas of how he can get a girl:  http://vimeo.com/44796728.

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Slumbering helplessly (3:48 minutes)
Filmmaker: Katja Seltmann
Affiliation: American Museum of Natural History
Music and Video by Yon Visell and Irene Moon

Watch a music video about the natural history of cockroaches, from the perspective
of the roach. Footage from “Goodbye Mr. Roach” courtesy of the Internet Archive.
http://www.begoniasociety.org – 2012:  https://vimeo.com/44805671

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Rapidly evolving rodents (2:58 minutes)
Filmmaker: Paul Feldmann
Affiliation: Protozoan Productions
Team members: Coulter Mitchell

Follow Dr. Oliver Pergams as he documents rapid morphological change in rodents.
These changes may be driven by human population growth and climate change. This video brought
to you by Protozoan Productions shows his work both in the classroom and in the field of
evolutionary biology: https://vimeo.com/44911583.

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The making of the fittest:  the birth and death of genes (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Olubunmi R. Ajagbe
Affiliation: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

For life to survive, it must adapt and readapt to an ever-changing Earth. The discovery
of the Antarctic icefish has provided a stunning example of adaptation in an environment
both hostile and abundant, where the birth of new genes and the death of old ones have
played crucial roles. Learn more at http://vimeo.com/44937426.

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The making of the fittest: natural selection and adaptation (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Olubunmi R. Ajagbe
Affiliation: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The rock pocket mouse is a living example of Darwin’s process of natural selection.
This film features Dr. Michael Nachman, whose work on pocket mice reveals a complete story,
from ecosystem to molecules, that demonstrates how random changes in the genome can take
many paths to the same adaptation—a colored coat that hides them from predators.
Watch at http://vimeo.com/44937425.

***

Fly hunter: Episode 1 “The phantom melanogaster” (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Emily Behrman
Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
Team members: Katherine R. O’Brien, Emily L. Behrman, Paul S. Schmidt

Join one man on his epic quest to understand seasonal adaptation by linking phenotype to
genotype in the ultimate model organism:  http://vimeo.com/44944707.

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The ordinary extraordinary junco – intro trailer (2:46 minutes)
Filmmaker: Jonathan Atwell
Affiliation: Indiana University

Our collaborative project is written, produced and directed primarily by two biologists
and a filmmaker & videographer based at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington, Indiana:

Team members: Jonathan Atwell (IU Department of Biology), Ellen Ketterson (IU Department of Biology), Steve Burns (IU Department of Telecomm)

Production Team:
Elie Abraham – Original Music Composition
Amanda Brothers – Logistical Support
Christy Burns – Science Consulting & Field Support
Derek Quinn – Graphics, Animations, & Video
Eric Snajdr – Field Assistance
Deanna Soper – Educational Consulting & Materials
Joseph Toth – Sound, Video, & Production

The “Ordinary Extraordinary Junco” is a feature-length film project comprised of shorter modules
highlighting past and present research on one of the most common and abundant groups of songbirds
in North America, the Juncos. The film(s) explore key themes in evolution, ecology, and animal behavior,
and they convey the process of scientific research with high school science standards in mind.
(Included here is our first segment, which is the introduction and serves as the trailer for
the project). For details see: http://www.juncoproject.org. Watch the clip at http://vimeo.com/44950881.

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The evolution of an alternative male mating strategy: socialising with less attractive rivals (3:00 minutes)
Filmmaker: Cedric Tan
Affiliation: Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology
Team members: Stuart Noah, Hannah Moore, Stuart Palmer, Shelly Lachish, Antica Culina, Sozos Michaelides

This dance and music video illustrates the evolution of an alternative male
mating strategy — changing one’s social group to increase relative attractiveness:
https://vimeo.com/44808911

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