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Congregation of the Mission ​why hello my name is Lauren champion vice president of the Graduate women in science organization and I'm very excited to see you all here today also very excited to introduce our next speaker dr. David Hughes dr. Hughes has worked in 11 countries on five continents he's currently working with amazing system zombie ants that are infected with parasites that are capable of influencing the behavior of their hosts he earned his doctorate at the University of Oxford and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Glasgow please join me in welcoming dr. David Hughes and one thing that commonly occurs for assistant professors is that we go across the country quite a lot to give talks and other institutions it's something that were quite often judged on so far this semester I've been quite busy and I've been to some really nice places I went to give it Bob Harvard and Princeton and you pen and I also recently gave a talk at Texas A&M there was Texas A&M that I was most excited about because it's a land-grant school just like Penn State it was the first time I ever had the occasion to see another land grant school and so I was giving a talk there and of course i was showing these beautiful images that we have in Old Main of the murals on the wall which commemorate our history as a land-grant institution and they show that the details Morrill Act of 1862 how old main was erected and erected in order to have increased knowledge for agricultural the sciences Texas a name is Tyler Texas agriculture and mechanical integrity data set is a secret in it aircraft as one of them on the ground school and so there are laws i was talking to them and recalls i had had many different talks his semester and it even had two talks in texas A&M so it's a bit jaded and it was a bit lost and as you can tell by now another American imagine there's some of you at the audience who are also not American so you can be forgiven for forgetting past presidents scenario was trying to explain the Morrill Act to these people and I was saying Morrill Act was of course signed in 1862 during the Civil War by president and it just didn't come to me I couldn't get and I knew who was it was president just didn't get it and I said you know da president the one who is well renowned for killing vampires and that got a now and I think and and that's one of the things at that moment and then on the way home that's what I realized was beautiful about universities universities are places where you can bring it together crazy things crazy ideas at different situations it is really a cradle of creativity and in the case of Abraham Lincoln he his work is never actually met a vampire army so it wasn't actually a vampire slayer but it's the kind of thing where you bring ideas which don't normally come together when you bring them together and that's very much what my work is about I work with these zombie on since Loren's talked about and I'm this is a compaction where you have a zombie phenomenon have ants and for me it really helps in telling the story of the system and also during this talk I'm going to talk about another and another arrangement which is bit unusual which is bringing together the idea of families with fields don't typically think of feel the sources of poverty and decay and that's something that I've been really thinking about over the last couple years really driven by some some some add inspiration that I gained here at Penn State so this is the system that I that I work on that I spend a lot of time thinking about here what you're looking at is an ant attached to a leaf on in a rainforest in this case southern Thailand and the end is well and truly dead the only thing remaining of this hand is its cuticle so the fungus has infected it maybe 10 days previous and has grown inside this body and cause the ant to leave the nest and then buy it onto the leaf so what you also see here is the fungus which is growing out of the back of the head see it also brought you onto the leaf surface and if you squint a little you can also see a little spider which have made it home under the body of this dead on this and is well and truly gone but the phenomenon of the zombie behavior comes into play when we when we look at what happened before you had died you have a control the behavior and manipulative process where the fungus really messes with the mind at the end making it go into location which is just ideal for fungal growth just happen to get the underside of the leaf and so as Laura mentioned I'm very fortunate that I've been there to work all over the world and of a global view but so what I'm going to do is give you guys a sense of scale that is to be standing on a rock in Thailand in a rainforest very beautiful rain forest in southern Thailand world in esco heritage site this is me 360 feet of the tree just to my to my top over my left shoulder is an ant colony and down forest floor where Sandra is is sitting a blog that's a location where we will find these samples so what we have is enormous separation in space and so we have to of course look at a rainforest which is an awful lot

of leaves and we're looking for a particular hands this is a rock in a stream in China and southern China and shoes right by now which is a chocolate or forest and there now what you want to do yourselves is look when you find an atom attached to the leaf and there it is there so it's right up there in the top it's attached so here the message is that the rainforest is absolutely festoon with these as you can completely imagine there's a lot of things in the rainforest and so one thing which I find to be beautiful about the science that we do is quite often it challenges the change or perspectives if you go into the forest you can start to see the whole forest just from the perspective of the other side of the knee and that's the perspective which is valuable to the fungus because that's aspect perspective from where the fungus grows and where the fungus is directly these ends but what then about famine fields so selfie ants are nice and that they ask is look at nature a different way heard a really beautiful taught by Peter this morning Peter Hood said wherever we're talking about parasites and you know we understand a half of life on parrot is parasitic and so we're just looking at ways in which they can mess around with us course deadly ways which is Ebola but interesting ways in the case of front giant behavior and so I started to work of the zombie on phenomena following his cherry-evans who is a extremely well renowned plant pathologist the reason I followed him is because in the 70s he got some really interesting work on these fungi which control that behavior and then I contacted and I started to work on them and then I realized this was his side project most of what he did on a day-to-day basis over fourteen fifty years was working for a British government going across the world looking at the track diseases this is a picture of Harry in a in Ghana when we were working on Coco he's looking at if I toepfer infection on a cocoa pod and so hurry was this enormous encyclopedic knowledge of plant diseases and so what would happen has been working together from this ambiance is we come out of a patch of forest so this is the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil it is the most highly decimated rainforest on the planet ninety-three percent if it's already gone and so you come up this patch of forest appear over there and you come onto a landscape of in this case coffee park agents and you would say this is very beautiful to all arranged in a very nice way and then I would hear this is well renowned expert on plant diseases talking about how it's all the disaster waiting to happen and he will talk about how the British is 784 he's had coffee plantations in Sri Lanka it was all decimated in five years by diseases and so he told these stories our stories but a landscape that is apparently beautiful and understandable but once you know to balaji would you know the diseases you can see that there quite often our disaster is going to happen I think this is a message that Peter Hudson made very beautifully this morning we're talking about malaria and push me harder than HIV and also the potential charge of such things as an Ebola and again you look at picture like this Agri tourism tourism in am in Brazil and you can say it's very beautiful but taking an ecological view you see that it's quite a disaster and the same thing here in case of cabin and so these fields remind me of fields that I I'm it's more experience with so I am Iration of in Ireland apartment its enormous famine in 1845 it was the it was a fungal like organism which caused the complete estimation of population and that the scar the environment 160 years later you can see these rows of lazy bands where we grew potatoes you can see them still deeply embedded into a landscape because such was our population size that we focus so intently on the land that he stars many many years later so I lived for a while and baseball that a fragment connemara at the age of 15 I was kicked out of school permanently excluded from school and I come from a poor background in Dublin and was quite normal not to finish high school like them from the family of six children and none of us ever got a high school education and so it was normal it was a pretty I'm very happy about that experience it was a normal experience of pain and one of the things I did from that was going working the West viral and I work on connemara ponies I live in this place which was a former industrial school set up by Quakers for her Irish people now a hostel so I bent there and I took turn us up into the hills and I showed in these famine fields and I told him stories of the great diamond and how we can still see the scars on the landscape many many years later and then it becomes slightly ironic now that i'm also doing this professionally I'm talking about possible famine scenarios that we might see in other locations and so the story that we had in Ireland was that we had a potato that came from South America it was introduced first into the US and then in Canada then right across the European continent in 1848 30s and then in Ireland where we just thought this is a nominal food because potato is an enormously rich source of repair nutrients and it grows extremely Wells very hardy crop and that fuel our population wrote two enormous allowance so in very short period of time you've got 29 million people and then the disease came along on the disease is called by top Trek infestans it was named by Anton the barrier and number of years after this discovery an argument and it is again where these contraction of name terms when you when you bring it along phyto means planet and it is sup man destroyer tour as in the stripe so this is it it's a destroyer of planets but it's an infectious destroyer from the very beautiful way of talking about organisms to really reinforce what they're doing this is exactly what it's doing it's going into a population where we had everybody eating exactly the same crop and it completely destroyed the landscape and it is completely destroyed and society simply because of stability can affect and move quickly Peter made a beautiful point this

morning about diseases of humans but we also have to think of the diseases of food that humans need gerod parents of course and of course this is not an enormous signature many 44 American societies in the 2,000 census over 40 million people identified themselves as being Irish American because we had this massive immigration in a very short period of time with five million people leaving the leaving our shores to go populate the world Britain Canada the US and this is an indelible mark and so what I want to reinforce here is the cds massive marks on society's when something calamitous such as a family comes along so that was in 1847 to 1852 and around about that time just a few years later parents think of going as a farmer School 1855 this is a picture of all made from 1859 and then in 1862 that Lincoln signed into into law the Morrill Act and so at that moment there was knowledge about diseases knowledge that could have stopped some of the calamitous situation there was indeed just before the firemen the discovery of the use of copper to be applied to hunt and actually reduce the infection completely the knowledge was available there was other things which are problematic such as problems with trade problems where we give his proportion advantage of certain groups in the world for example at room trade loss that was another issue but generally we had knowledge which could have solved our problem and so when I think about the famine fields of Ireland I also think now continuously about diseases in sub-saharan Africa this is cassava a stapler planet also South American encouraging just like NATO it came to Africa we never a trigger the years brought in by people it has fueled enormous growth in population in the area seventies the disease is called in case of the potato it was fight optra in the case of cassava it was a mite and a little insect which injected viruses into a plant but the disease is color and then in a very short space of time in four or five years 250 million Africans in sub-saharan Africa were in danger of losing their principal source of food that was eighty percent of the population eighty percent of the crop was lost and was affecting an enormous amount of the population and so what happened the international community mobilized we had a massive root bad we have capitalized in the science that we already had available and we found solutions these with solutions work and has all kinds of that and cassava Mike and the mini book after brought in and they saved cassava plant this outline is now say it and people can grow them in and use it and we still had a food security but it is absolutely guaranteed the weather cassava or wheat in Africa or wheat in the mid States of America you will have a disease and that disease will destroy your property and that will item to try to crop with commodity searched rubber or a stable such as wheat potato or cassava and when that happens you're not dealing with a smaller compilation such as the one we found an article you're dealing with hundreds of millions of Africans which are separated from Europe by 13 miles cultivated right here the calamitous situation will be enormous we've heard about the Arab Spring we've heard about Rwanda conflicts in Darfur every single conflict that we have has its roots in food security conflict over sources of food so it is absolutely guarantee that we will have such a situation again and so what I think it then comes down to is the situation of quoting linking or thinking about linking what he said so he said that the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy president the occasion is piled higher difficulty and we must rise with the occasion as our cases Louie you knew was actively you must disent all ourselves he was speaking in 1862 with everything seemed pretty fine we couldn't let the situation already lost we could think the situation is fine now because we're in a few insecure a nation but it's not the case we can have these things and the principal warder is dis is draw so I think you have to unlearn what you know and because we're students coming together so what we're doing in our part was working on this is social networking model with Marcel's laughing air is a phenomenally interesting and innovative scientists on social media and we're trying to bring together the world's farmers globally through social media and cell phones in order to revolution at that that move the knowledge so we can't have a situation that we had previously where for the lack of knowledge we have massive apology thank CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Midtown Manhattan.