Nerd Nite #8 – You Say You Want Some Evolution: Gibbons and Spiders

This event is sponsored by the organization Nerd Nite Portland not by Skeptics in the Pub. Everyone is invited to come. You can find Nerd Nite Portland on MeetUp, on Facebook and at

When: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door

This Nerd Nite will feature the following two talks:

Swinging Between Genomics, Evolution, and Conservation
The small apes (or gibbons) are amazing primates living in South East Asia and currently threatened by extinction. They have many distinctive traits separating them from their cousins, the great apes (orang, gorilla and chimp), including the ability to move just using their arms (i.e. brachiation), monogamy, and vocalization to defend their territory. Lucia Carbone, PhD,, Assistant Professor at OHSU studying genomics and epigenetics, has been studying the gibbon genome to learn more about these species and primate evolution in general. Her talk will go over her latest findings and highlight a fascinating connection between processes in evolution and human disease.

Spider Venoms: The Evolution of an Arsenal
Spiders (all 44,000 species) play key roles in our ecosystems as predators of insects. Without spiders there would be many more insects and fewer plants. Evolution over the last 400 million years has created enormous diversity among spiders in predatory tactics, including web and venom use, which has resulted in a phenomenal diversity of silk and venom chemistry. Greta Binford, PhD, associate professor of biology at Lewis & Clark College, studies diversity and evolution of spiders and their venoms, including the toxic brown recluse and its relatives. She will highlight some of the beautiful biological diversity of spiders’ feeding biology, silks, and venoms, and discuss how evolution has generated a "pharmacopeia" of unique toxins that are rich in potential for human applications.

*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

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  • Tim B

    Great presentations ! Its good to see people enjoying the hard work the researchers are putting in.

    October 8, 2013

  • Michelle

    If you are interested in meeting up with other folks, I've got tables set up toward the front on bar side of theatre. See you soon!

    October 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does Nerd Nite ever do anything that's slated WEST of the river? I LOVE these, but it's a looooong way to go from Gresham to Mission Theater...

    October 3, 2013

    • Michelle

      We're hoping to expand! Do you know of any venues that would be good for us? And you mean east, correct? ;-)

      1 · October 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      YES, East! McM's Edgefield has a LOT of different spaces, perhaps there? Even McM's Kennedy, as it used to be a school and I'm sure they must have a large conf/meeting area. I LOVE that U responded positively! There are a lot of nerds out here who wld enjoy your events, I'm sure. THANKS Michelle...

      October 3, 2013

  • Michelle

    A reminder, this event is sponsored by Nerd Nite Portland. Portland Skeptics In the Pub organizer Eric has graciously allowed us to invite members of this MeetUp group.

    September 9, 2013

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