Science on Tap

Monthly at The Crepe Place

Come one, come all to the “science café” in Santa Cruz. This event is designed to connect the Santa Cruz community to the latest research happening just up the hill at U.C. Santa Cruz.  It is not an exclusive “club meeting” for scientists and science majors and aims to appeal to all audiences. So come, grab a beer, relax and hear some interesting cutting edge science that’s happening near you! Science on Tap is based on the Nova and Sigma Xi "science café" model and is generally on the last Wednesday of every month at the Crepe Place. Due to the popularity of these events, to ensure that you'll have a seat, we highly recommend that you reserve a table by contacting the Crepe Place.

"Learning from and about wild African great apes using indirect and non-invasive methods"

Vicky M. Oelze 

Anthropology Department UCSC

Primatological research continues to uncover the complexity of great ape ecology and behavior in the wild using direct observations, still discovering fascinating new aspects of their diet, sociality and culture. However, direct observations require to habituate the animals to human observers, which can take many years or even decades in chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. Moreover, habituation makes them vulnerable to the existential threats of human pathogens and poaching. In the Primate Ecology and Molecular Anthropology (PEMA) lab at UCSC (, we predominantly employ indirect and non-invasive methods to study the dietary ecology and behavior of African great apes. These methods include molecular tools such as stable isotope analysis of ape hair and feces to study diet and life history, e.g. the weaning of bonobo infants or the origins of female chimpanzees immigrating into a new community. We also use video footage from motion-triggered camera traps to study the behavior of chimpanzees at termite mounds to understand how infant chimpanzees learn to exploit termites and based on which environmental cues adults determine it is a good day to termite fish. In my talk, I will share some unique camera footage as well as the newest results of our research in the PEMA lab.

Who: Everyone! Not just scientists!
When: Wednesday, November 2oth at 7:00 pm 
Where: Outdoor patio at The Crepe Place (1134 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz) -- Make sure to make reservations & to dress warmly!

Science on Tap *NEW*

Monthly at The Catalyst 

      Join us at the "science pub" in Santa Cruz. This event is designed to connect the Santa Cruz community to the latest research happening just up the hill at U.C. Santa Cruz. It also provides an opportunity for graduate students to share their research with the community! 

     The event will be followed by "Sci-Fi Movie Night" at The Catalyst where one of your favorite sci-fi movies will be presented at 8 pm(please visit '' for more movie details). Science on Tap with generally start at 6:45 pm and the Sci-Fi movie will be shown at 8 pm. Science on Tap is generally on the second Monday of every month and is a free event! While this community event is designed for everyone, not just scientist is it 21 and over. We look forward to seeing you there! 

If you are interested in presenting at this event please email "" with the subject line "Science on Tap at the Catalyst". Please include your name, academic year, department, research topic, and availablity. Thank you! 

Return of the dead: How resurrection

plants come back to life

Helen Holmlund

  University of California, Santa Cruz


Most plants die when they dry out, but resurrection plants are an exception to this rule. Resurrection plants can lose almost all their water and then come back to life when they are watered again. We call these plants “desiccation tolerant,” because they can survive near-complete desiccation (drying). In fact, most plants are desiccation tolerant at the seed stage, but only a few plants also have desiccation-tolerant leaves, stems, and roots. Desiccation tolerance might seem like the ultimate plant super power, but there are some challenges associated with being a resurrection plant. Plants have a vascular system, kind of like we do. When resurrection plants resurrect, they need to restore water flow through their vascular system. My collaborators and I used high-resolution CT scans (x-rays) to see inside the plants while they were resurrecting. Our results show that these resurrection plants have several special traits that help them restore water flow through their vascular system.

Who: Everyone! Not just scientists! (21+)
When: Monday, November 11th th at 7:00 pm 
Where: The Catalyst (1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz) 

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