Sydney Science Forum - Law of the Locust
15 September 2010
Law of the Locust: A tale of cannibals, ageing and human obesity
Presented by NSW Scientist of the Year - Professor Steve Simpson
Locust plagues are one of the most infamous insect scourges, affecting the lives of 1 in 10 people on the planet. But they have also provided important new clues into the causes of human obesity, how we age, and the complex behaviour of crowds. Professor Steve Simpson takes us on a strange journey that begins in the midst of a locust swarm and ends with the human obesity epidemic. Along the way you will see what you can discover by tickling a locust's leg with a paintbrush, how recreational drugs turn shy solitary locusts into swarming party animals, how robotic helicopters are being used to track swarms, the sinister role played by cannibalism in locust swarms, and how a powerful appetite for protein can explain not only locust mass marching but also human obesity and ageing.
Contact: Faculty of Science
Phone: +61 2 9351 3021
More info: http://sydney.edu.au/science/outreach/forum/