Plants have been around for a very long time, and they face a number of challenges because they remain in one location for the duration of their lives. Our understanding of plant biology continues to shift as scientists begin to unravel and identify complex behaviours performed by plants in our gardens. Plants regularly recognize kin, communicate, find and fight over food, and undertake many more complex phenomena, all without a brain!
Join Dr. Cahill as he discusses some of his group’s current research and that of others, which combined helps us understand how plants live their lives.
About the speaker: Dr. James (JC) Cahill is a Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He has a particular fondness for trying to understand how plants forage for resources, cope with enemies, and alter competitive strategies over time. A key goal of this work is to understand how these social and behavioural interactions impact patterns of biodiversity and the functioning of natural systems.
His work has a number of implications for conservation, particularly in the context of invasive species and climate change. Dr. Cahill’s work on plant behaviour has been featured in a documentary on the Nature of Things and PBS Nature. It has been viewed more than 2 million times!