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Exploring the interface of ecology, mathematics and digital making
16 October 2019 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pmFree
Most plants can’t walk. Seed dispersal, or the movement of seeds from a parent plant to a new location where a child plant can germinate, take root and grow, is important because it allows plant populations to reach new locations and habitats. Seeds that are well adapted for wind dispersal have structures that increase drag, making them fall slowly so that they spend more time in the air. This means that they are more likely to travel further, increasing their dispersal distance. Being able to predict dispersal distances is really important for understanding how plant populations can move across landscapes, whether you are trying to stop a pest species from spreading or trying to save a species in the face of rapid climate change.
In this event, school students will join in with real ecological research at the University of York to measure how fast seeds fall, and understand what that means for how far the seeds might travel before hitting the ground. Pieter the Seed Eater is a tall pipe fitted with a Raspberry Pi computer and camera module to capture and process images of a falling seed, to accurately calculate the seed’s terminal velocity. Students will learn how to build a Seed Eater, work out what makes seeds fall fast or slowly, and wrap their minds around what it all means for invasive species spread.
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When you register for an account, we will also add you to our mailing list for event organisers (opens in new tab), so that we can keep you up to date with essential information about indie events.