Drugs, aliens, and bold border crossings

Wednesday, November 13, 2013: 2:20 PM
Meeting Room 16 A (Austin Convention Center)
Lee A. Dyer , Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Chemically mediated interactions between plants, herbivorous insects, and parasitoids are important components of all terrestrial ecosystems. Studies of these interactions boldly cross traditional borders of science, and must include creative approaches in chemistry laboratories, forays into the deep realms of modeling and statistics, logistical nightmares of large scale field experiments, and daring journeys into the world of systematics. In order to successfully navigate these border crossings, chemical ecologists rely on a plethora of natural history data, including discovery of thousands of undescribed species of parasitoids (aliens) and new secondary metabolites (drugs). I will show data from studies around the world of drug-alien interactions and will recount the stories behind the data, including stories of difficulties encountered trying to cross political borders while carrying precious drugs and aliens.