Now for highlights from the Arizona Physiological Society poster session that took place on October 5th.
Alex Mohr (Graduate Student, Arizona State University – Phoenix) presented his research on dietary carotenoids, which are yellow, orange and red pigments synthesized by plants. Birds are known for using these dietary carotenoids for coloration (see the male mallard in the photo above). While some research suggests that carotenoids may also act as antioxidants in birds, Alex’s data does not support a strong antioxidant role for dietary carotenoids…at least in ducks.
Jordan Glass (Graduate Student, Arizona State University – Tempe) presented research that explored the effects of heat waves and limited water availability on field crickets (Gryllus lineaticeps).
Xiaohui Guo (Graduate Student, Arizona State University – Tempe) presented research that explored how metabolic rate of social insects, California Seed Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex californicus), scales with the size of their colony, not just their body mass. This means that ants work harder in colonies that have large broods (eggs, larvae, pupae). Sounds like they have a lot in common with people!