“Chemistry stinks!” is heard muttered under the breath of chemistry students everywhere. The griping students are right. The chemical compounds responsible for the highly odoriferous spray of the striped skunk were not successfully identified (or frequently studied) until recent decades. What can we learn from “skunk musk” and how nature uses these noxious chemicals? You might be surprised. Join Dr. William Wood, of Humboldt State University, for a pungent discussion that will penetrate your mind (not your nose)!
“Chemistry Stinks! And How Nature Uses These Noxious Chemicals” A short presentation followed by Q&A with speaker Dr. William Wood of Humboldt State University, Dept. of Chemistry.
What You Will Learn
- Short-chain thiols have a low odor threshold
- Skunks use many thiols for chemical defense
- Many animals use “stinky” molecules to convey messages
- Garter snakes and wolverines expel short-chain carboxylic acids
- And much more…
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Meet Your Expert
William Wood obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He entered the field of chemical ecology as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University with Jerrold Meinwald and Thomas Eisner. After three years as a research scientist at The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya, he joined the Chemistry Department at Humboldt State University. His current research in chemical ecology includes investigation of components in vertebrate skin gland secretions, arthropod defensive secretions and the odors of wild mushrooms and plants.
Darren Griffin, PhD is Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, UK. Previously he was Professor of Genetics at Brunel University. In 2002, he was admitted as a fellow of the Society of Biology and in 2008 he was awarded both a fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists and Doctor of Science from the University of Manchester. He was awarded the Institutional Teaching Prize for his work in supervising graduate students and was recently shortlisted for Research Project of the Year by the Times Higher Education supplement. Dr. Griffin completed his post-doctoral research in Cleveland, Ohio and at The University of Cambridge. He received his PhD at University College London in 1992, graduated from the University of Manchester in 1988.
The Fine Print
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