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The Physics of Beauty: Structural Coloration in Butterflies

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Carnegie Institution for Science - Department of Embryology

San Martin Drive

Baltimore, MD 21218

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Learn how butterflies create the dazzling colors & patterns that adorn their wings from world-renowned biologist Nipam Patel!

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Science in the Neighborhood

THE PHYSICS OF BEAUTY: STRUCTURAL COLORATION IN BUTTERFLIES

Butterflies are well known for the beautiful colors and patterns that decorate their wings. They function to attract mates, provide camouflage, or ward off predators. Many colors are created by pigments within the scales, but others, especially blues and greens, are produced by a remarkable phenomenon known as structural coloration.

In structural coloration, nanostructures, which are smaller than the wavelength of light, amplify certain colors and diminish others to create dazzling hues. On April 24th, Dr. Nipam Patel will describe a number of butterfly species that use structural coloration, and recent genetic and cellular insights into how scale cells generate the necessary materials and geometry to create these rich colors!

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Nipam Patel, Ph.D.— Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory-Woods Hole (MBL) and Professor at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Patel is a leading scholar in modern evolutionary and developmental biology with specific focus on the evolution of body patterning and segmentation, regeneration of the germline, and structural coloration. He is the author of more than 130 scientific publications, and an editor of the journal Development.

He is an elected fellow of the AAAS and has been awarded numerous honors, including the Schubert Endowed Chair and the William V. Power Endowed Chair at UC Berkeley, the McKnight Scholars Neuroscience Fellowship Award, and an NSF Predoctoral Fellowship.

- The event is free, but registration is required.

- This lecture will be streamed live on our YouTube page, as well as recorded for on-demand viewing after the lecture.

- The Carnegie Institution for Science-Department of Embryology will open its doors at 6:30 p.m. The event will start promptly at 7:00 p.m.

- An overflow room, with screens, will be available when our auditorium reaches maximum capacity. Seating in the auditorium is on a first-come, first-served basis.

- Light refreshments will be served.

- Free Parking

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Carnegie Institution for Science - Department of Embryology

San Martin Drive

Baltimore, MD 21218

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