Sex and the single salamander: Clarkson University Science Café explores that Tuesday in Canton, Wednesday in Potsdam
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 1:36 pm

CANTON – The reproduction of all-female salamanders will be the focus of the next Clarkson University Science Café.

“Stumped by Salamanders: Habitat Use and Reproduction of an All-Female Amphibian ‘Species’” will be presented by St. Lawrence University Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Kristine Hoffmann Tuesday, April 16, at the Best Western University Inn Rushton Room, 90 E. Main St. in Canton.

Hoffman will present the discussion again at Wednesday, April 17, at the St. Lawrence Valley Roasters & Jernabi Coffeehouse, 11 Maple St. in Potsdam.

Both Science Café events will be held at 7:15 p.m.

Unisexual salamanders are an all-female lineage that reproduces by “stealing” the sperm of a host species. Little is known about their ecology because they are difficult to identify and study, and a lack of information hinders their conservation.

Join Hoffmann as she describes her work with salamanders at four wetlands in Maine, using a combination of trapping, radio tracking, and genetic analysis.

Her results indicate that the communities were almost entirely female.

But if there were no males, how were they reproducing?

The narrative of this study demonstrates how results can lead to more mysteries.

Science Cafes bring together engineers, scientists, and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Find out more about Clarkson’s Science Cafe at http://www.clarkson.edu/sciencecafe.