Lecture Series

2022 Spring Lecture Series:

Ammonites 2022

We are planning the 2022 Tate Spring Lecture Series . All talks will be on Zoom and links will be posted on our Facebook page, website (right here), and emailed to members.  Talks begin at 7PM Mountain time, but the zoom will be open at 6:30 if folks want to socialize beforehand.

Feb 24: Russell Hawley, Tate Geological Museum, “The Ammonites’ Aquarium”  
The Art and Science of Reconstructing Ancient Marine Environments
This is the link for Russell’s talk:
Mar 31: Josh Slattery, University of South Florida,  “The Ecological Role of Ammonites in Late Cretaceous Seas of North America
April 28: David Peterman, University of Utah, “Re-evaluating ammonoid life habits with biomimetic robots and hydrostatic models”.
Ammonoid cephalopods experimented with seemingly endless variations in shell shape for hundreds of millions of years. Shell shape influenced the swimming capabilities of these living animals and strongly constrained their life habits.  Theoretical, planispiral cephalopods were virtually constructed, allowing detailed hydrostatic simulations (involving buoyancy, orientation, and mass balance). These cephalopods were also “resurrected” with 3D-printed,  biomimetic robots to investigate their hydrodynamic properties (swimming velocity, acceleration, and maneuverability). Other 3D printed models demonstrate how hydrostatics and hydrodynamics interact, illuminating some inescapable physical tradeoffs. Laterally compressed shells prevent yaw during movement and present a tradeoff between dynamic stability and yaw maneuverability. Shells with long body chambers had low hydrostatic stability, presenting challenges during locomotion, but increasing pitch maneuverability. These experiments offer a re-evaluation of life habits across the morphospace. Inflated and unstable morphologies sacrificed stability and streamlining for highly efficient, maneuverable life habits. These properties infer adaptive value for morphotypes traditionally interpreted as hydrodynamically inferior.
May 26: Kathleen Ritterbush, University of Utah,  Adventures in the Jurassic Jet Propulsion Laboratory