Andrew Bartlow will give a presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the Los Alamos Nature Center to explore how some parasites have evolved to manipulate their hosts and turn them into their own zombie bodyguards. In this photo he is on Mindoro Island in the Philippines on a museum collection trip where he was one of the parasitologists who went to collect parasites from birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Courtesy/PEEC
Join Andrew Bartlow at the Los Alamos Nature Center Tuesday, Aug. 6 to discover how some parasites have evolved ways to manipulate their hosts and turn them into their own zombie bodyguards. This talk will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Parasites are everywhere are are extremely diverse. From tiny microscopic Giardia to giant tapeworms, parasites rule the world in terms of biodiversity. They rely on other organisms called hosts for their survival. Some parasites simply infect new hosts by being eaten or by using insects as vectors, but other parasites have evolved ways to manipulate their hosts and make the process of transmission easier.
Learn about these parasites, and how some can turn their hosts into their own protective, real-life zombie bodyguards at Bartlow’s talk. These host manipulations are just beginning to be understood and documented.
“There are probably many more of these parasites lurking in the shadows, just waiting to be discovered,” Bartlow said.
To keep the zombie celebration going, the nature center will be showing the film “Shaun of the Dead” Thursday, Aug. 8 for their summer movie and beer series “Suds & Shows.” The film will start at 7 p.m. and doors will open at 6 p.m. Pajarito Brewpub will start serving beer at that time and people are welcome to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy before the movie. Movie tickets are $5 per person and can be reserved in advance by stopping by the nature center or calling 505.662.0460.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.