Tag Archives: biology

“Avatar” as Education

Plants have a lot to teach us about how our planet works, and movies like the blockbuster “Avatar,” in which plants play an important role, can inspire us to pay closer attention to them.

Jodie Holt, a professor of plant physiology at UC Riverside — and the botanical consultant on the James Cameron film– discusses what she taught Hollywood about plants and what Hollywood can teach us about our planet.

Watch What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Our Planet from UC Riverside’s Earth 101 series.


The Social Lives of Bluebirds

Can bluebirds teach us about about our own cooperative behaviors? That’s what Cornell University graduate student Caitlin Stern is trying to find out as she tracks and observes the beautiful western bluebirds that make their home in the Hastings Reserve, part of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System that’s made up of 37 protected natural areas throughout that state, totaling 750,000 acres.

In this week’s edition of “Prime: Cuts,” we visit with Stern and tag along as she checks in on the birds in order to understand their cooperative behaviors and, ultimately, the implications her research might have for understanding cooperative behaviors in the animal kingdom.

Prime: Cuts – Social Structure in Western Bluebirds


Mysteries of the Black Widow

Most of us go out of our way NOT to run into a black widow spider, but biologist Emily MacLeod spends her time surrounded by them.

In the latest episode of “Prime: Cuts,” we follow the University of Toronto researcher as she observes the carnivorous spider in captivity and in its natural habitat on the Hastings Natural Reserve, one of the University of California’s 37 protected natural areas throughout that state that total 750,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world.

See what Emily uncovers in “Prime: Cuts – Mysteries of the Black Widow,” then check out more video about research taking place at UC’s Natural Reserve system.