evolution through a lens

2014 Entries

NavarroBiological invasionsBiological invasions: A good opportunity to study evolution
Filmmakers: Luis Navarro, Iván Rodríguez
Affiliation: Divulgare, Vigo University

Biological invasions involve the movement of species outside their native area, to different environments in which these species have evolved, and to which had already been adapted. These abrupt changes of environment can represent a good opportunity to study evolutionary processes. This video shows the results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Vigo (Spain) and Coimbra (Portugal) to study the evolution of the breeding system of the invasive species Oxalis pes-caprae outside its native distribution range: http://vimeo.com/84459839

HendryAdaptiveRadiationThe adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches
Filmmaker: Andrew Hendry
Affiliation: McGill University

A short video describing how the radiation of Darwin’s ground finches is linked to different food types: http://vimeo.com/95292018

HendrySandwalkHow did Darwin walk his sandwalk?
Filmmaker: Andrew Hendry
Affiliation: McGill University

I wanted to walk his famous sandwalk. I naively imagined that while doing so I would have some amazing new insight or perhaps just come to a new appreciation of my chosen vocation. I imagined walking along just as Darwin did, thinking the same things he thought. But when I got there and started to walk, I began to feel angst as to just how I should be walking it. I wanted to walk it the same way as Darwin but how did he walk it? http://vimeo.com/92140010

Filmmakers: Lori Henriques & Joel Henriques
Affiliation: Human Puppy Records, Portland, OR

A sweetly sung narrative about a girl who’s nostalgic for the dinosaurs. By the end of the song, she comes to terms with her feelings. http://vimeo.com/92808065

HenriquesNightSkyWhen I look into the night sky
Filmmakers: Lori Henriques & Joel Henriques
Affiliation: Human Puppy Records, Portland, OR

A song about our atoms coming from the stars featuring imaginative, colorful, Calder-meets-Miró illustration. https://vimeo.com/92116402

Filmmakers: Emily Baker, Sarah Enciso, Ralph Hauke, Alex Im, Kaitlin Jacobson, John LeClair
Affiliation: University of Notre Dame

An explanation of the basis of altruism, as shown through the example of the slime mold: http://vimeo.com/93028086

McGintyQuestionsDanswersTrisomy 13 – Questions and ‘danswers’ of evolution
Filmmakers: Julia McGinty and Luqun Shen
Affiliation: University of Notre Dame

The Trisomy 13 group from a Notre Dame Evolution class make a video to explain evolutionary concepts, including natural selection and species formation. Concepts are explained by students on the Notre Dame campus who must dance while explaining the evolutionary concepts. An accurate definition of each concept is then explained using white-board animations: http://vimeo.com/93076272

McCarthySegregationA simpler view of segregation disorder
Filmmakers: Conor McCarthy, Taylor Boland, Andrew McAsey, Michael Talamo, Bridget O’Hara, Katherine Lumetta
Affiliation: University of Notre Dame

We tackled the complexity of segregation distortion by explaining it in a simplified manner: a children’s book. Advancing childhood science education is paramount for a more scientifically literate world: http://vimeo.com/93116320

KalejsPrehistoricSeaUnder the prehistoric sea
Filmmakers: Nick Kalejs, Olivia Balmert, Anna Kottkamp, John Kwon, Jenn Noyola
Affilation: University of Notre Dame

Animation depicting some biological features of evolution, set to The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea.” http://vimeo.com/93132372

VerdunMissingLaMarckMissing LaMarck
Filmmakers: Valerie Verdun, Robert Reed, Rachel Supple, Trang Hoang, Ryan Davila, Yolandis McCaskill, Hope Hollocher
Affiliation: University of Notre Dame

A brief history of Lamarck and his theories of evolution: http://vimeo.com/93116330.

NealSexyScienceSexRatiosPatchyPopulationsSex-y science: Sex ratios in patchy populations
Filmmaker: Allison Neal
Affiliation: University of Vermont

Did you know that some organisms have many more females than males? This video tells the basics on why they do, and for that matter, why we don’t! http://vimeo.com/95597125

SezenExtrafloralNectariesA short documentary about natural history and evolution of extrafloral nectaries
Filmmakers: Uzay Sezen (UGA), Sean Polite (UGA), Marjorie Weber (Cornell University).
Affiliation: University of Georgia

An overview of natural history and evolution of extrafloral nectaries. Demonstration of ant-plant interaction and ant behavior in three plant species belonging to three families: http://vimeo.com/94113744

EndaraBeautifulWeaponsBeautiful weapons
Filmmaker: Ana Endara
Affiliation: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

“Mine is bigger than yours” say male fiddler crabs as they wave their oversized claw at a rival and to attract a mate. John Christy, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute asks why some fiddler crabs are optimized for love while others are optimized for combat: http://vimeo.com/95051414

EndaraPleaseTapAgainPlease tap again
Filmmaker: Ana Endara
Affiliation: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Greg Gilbert, UC Santa Cruz and Mariam Trejos, fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, scan the insides of tropical trees on Panama’s Barro Colorardo Island to see if heart rot fungi contribute to the evolution and maintenance of tropical biodiversity. http://vimeo.com/95042002

EndaraSTRISmithsonian Tropical Research Institute – Panama
Filmmaker: Ana Endara
Affiliation: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

A Natural Evolutionary Experiment: The Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, connecting two continents and separating the Pacific from the Caribbean. The resulting interchange of plants and animals and the evolution of sister species are only two of the research subjects that draw 1400 visiting scientists to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute each year: http://vimeo.com/87102269

OstmanFitnessLandscapesUsing fitness landscapes to visualize evolution in action
Filmmakers: Randy Olson and Bjørn Østman
Affiliation: Michigan State University

We visualize simulations of evolving populations with two traits by displaying individual organisms in two-dimensional fitness landscapes. We explore three phenomena in evolutionary dynamics that can be difficult to comprehend. First we show dynamic landscapes with two fluctuating peaks in which the population track the peaks as they appear at difference locations in phenotype space. We then demonstrate negative density-dependent selection, which causes the population to split into distinct subpopulations located on separate peaks, illustrating how speciation can occur in sympatry. Lastly, we show the survival of the flattest where the population prefers a tall narrow peak at low mutation rate, but moves to the lower but wider plateau at high mutation rate. http://vimeo.com/96251726

OstmanVisualizingCoevolutionVisualizing coevolution in dynamic fitness landscapes
Filmmakers: Randy Olson and Bjørn Østman
Affiliation: Michigan State University

Populations coevolving in fitness landscapes that are affected by another population.
1) A moth-orchid evolutionary arms race
2) A rock-paper-scissors system of three populations
3) Open-ended evolution of a host-parasite system


DebarreOrigamiDucksGenetic drift with origami ducks
Filmmaker: Flo Débarre
Affiliation: University of Exeter

This stop-motion video describes an evolutionary force: genetic drift. http://vimeo.com/96142650

OnsteinExaptationsExaptations versus adaptations
Filmmaker: Renske Onstein
Affiliation: University of Zurich

What are exaptations, what are adaptations, and how can we recognize them? This video explains the concepts behind exaptations and adaptations, one of the topics I am interested in during my PhD research at the Institute of Systematic Botany at the University of Zurich. http://vimeo.com/96431502

KamMouseburrowingThe genetics of mouse burrowing
Filmmaker: Ariana Kam
Affiliation: Harvard University

This student animation examines the genetics of mouse burrowing. A look at what it takes to become a master mouse architect. Based on research conducted by the Hoekstra Lab: http://vimeo.com/97219163

Filmmakers: Hsiang-Yu Yuan, Kai Ma
Affiliation: Imperial College London

Bindozilla (Virus) is threatening a park in central London again. Lots of innocent people become dysfunctional or died. After hard training, Immuman (Antibody) has come out and try to save the world. Meanwhile, Bindozilla becomes stronger, clever and more dangerous through mutation. Can Immuman saves the world? https://vimeo.com/96857654

McCartneyDesertTortoiseConservation genomics of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
Filmmakers: Evan McCartney-Melstad and Brad Shaffer
Affiliation: UCLA

This is an introductory outline of a project I’m working on for my dissertation at UCLA intended for a general audience. The project will make recommendations on future siting of large-scale development in the Mojave using landscape-genetic informed population viability analyses: http://vimeo.com/96981762

MaginiotSelfishGeneSelfish gene
Filmmakers: François Maginiot and Shankar Meyer
Affiliation: Wax Science, France

he theory proposed by Richard Dawkins is a peculiar way to envision evolution. Not only the genes seem to use organism as “vessel” but some tend to be passed on to the detriment of individuals. Species change, evolve and eventually die out, while genes are forever: http://vimeo.com/96983321

OsmondBirdClinesBird clines
Filmmakers: Stilianos Louca, Matthew Osmond, Philippe Fernandez, Alison Porter, Megan Vaughan, Catherine Hoffman, Michael Scott, Adrienne Contasti
Lyrics: Michael Scott, Andrew MacDonald, Ross Whippo
Sound: Evan Hersh
Affiliation: University of British Colombia

Spoofing a recent billboard hit, members of the Biodiversity Centre at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, entertain and inform you of research on hybrid zones and clines in birds. Get up and dance! http://vimeo.com/96966075

Filmmakers: Lauren Anderson, Monique Boileau, Zach Boudreau, Sarah Jezierny, Julia Kunberger, Will Ryan
Affiliation: Florida State University

This video describes the effects of evolutionary drift on an island population: http://vimeo.com/97026593

PenningsHIVSelective sweeps in HIV
Filmmaker: Pleuni Pennings
Affiliation: Stanford

A 3-minute video abstract for our recent paper on “Loss and Recovery of Genetic Diversity in Adapting Populations of HIV.”http://vimeo.com/97082655

EndaraWhyCooperateWhy cooperate?
Filmmaker: Ana Endara
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Predators may force Greater Ani’s to cooperate. Christie Riehl, junior fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, asks why up to eight individuals construct communal nests, continuing work she started as a PhD student at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. http://vimeo.com/95040167


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