Southeastern's Science on Tap presents ‘Urban Ecology: Life in Your Backyard’

Thursday, October 19, 2017 Oliver Ljustina
by: Rene Abadie

SNAKE CHARMER – Southeastern Louisiana University biology graduate student Oliver Ljustina handles a docile corn snake, one of several species he has encountered in his research in the New Orleans area. Lijustina will present the university’s next Science on Tap lecture on understanding life and biodiversity in urban areas at Tope La Catering in Hammond on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The lecture is scheduled at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

     HAMMOND – Have you ever wondered exactly what is living in your backyard?
     Southeastern Louisiana University biology graduate student Oliver Ljustina wants to show you that while mankind continues altering habitats for it own benefit, many organisms decline, while others seem to more easily adapt, and may very well make your yard their new home.
     Understanding life in urban areas and what it takes for the range of organisms to live in cities and backyards is the topic of Southeastern’s next Science on Tap presentation scheduled Tuesday Nov. 7.
     Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences, the presentation by Ljustina will be held at 7 p.m. at Tope La Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond. The lecture, titled “Urban Ecology: Life in Your Backyard,” is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
     A native of Miami who is studying water snakes in the canals of New Orleans, Ljustina said that population declines and extinctions of species are rampant as humans leave a prominent mark on the planet.
     “Cities, however, are perhaps the most dramatic examples of our capacity to change landscapes,” he said. “We have to ask if it is really all that bad. From rock doves to brown anoles, from raccoons to cockroaches, urban areas can and do support life.”
     Ljustina will show how some organisms survive the rapid and severe changes imposed by humans and how this is a testament to the resilience of life on Earth.
     “Urban ecology seeks to understand life in urban areas, and we’ll discuss just what it takes to join the motley crew of organisms living in our cities and backyards,” he said.
     For information on this or future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 985-549-3740.

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