Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gliding Through the Last Demystifying the Expert

Last Thursday (March 24th), Dr. Anca Constantin and Dr. Klebert Feitosa hosted New & Improv'd and Dr. Roshna Wunderlich for the last "Demystifying the Expert" of the 2015-2016 school-year.

The evening started off well with a 20 questions-esque game where the improv team had to guess Dr. Wunderlich's professional title and research topic.  Several guesses included, but were not limited to, "Can it be found in Disney World?  In the hearts and minds of children?", "Is it us?  A young body like mine?  Inside us?!", and "Is it that thing Dr. Frankenstein used to bring his monster back to life?" 

After a series of laughs, the audience learned that Dr. Wunderlich is a professor in Biology and head of the JMU Women's Rugby Team.  She also researches the behavioral patterns of societal interactions of lemurs.  She does so in the prospect of learning the secrets of their longevity, and perhaps apply that knowledge to expanding the human lifespan.  Many think that their heightened lifespan has to do with the fact that they hibernate for seven months, which could also help humans in the field of space travel in regards to cryostasis.

When asked how they endure this, Dr. Wunderlich explained that they store the food as fat in their tail, which warranted a "junk in the trunk" reference and possible qualifications for future astronaut candidates.  Dr. Wunderlich then talked about how her team tracks the lemurs with fitbits and magnetic field positioning techniques, as well as their interactions with their children.  She also described the lemur mating season as "like Spring Break in Tampa," with the improv group adding, "That must be the craziest three days ever!"

Further discussing lemurs, the improv teamed asked how they lemurs respond when Dr. Wunderlich's team interacts with them.  She answered, "We just blowdarted them out of a tree, how do you think they feel?"  When asked if she hunted them, Dr. Wunderlich responded, "No we have a guy who's really good with a blow dart.  We just catch them when they fall."

The event concluded with the improv group guessing several biological acronyms/terms, as well as the 2-truths & 1-dare game.  This led to great discussions about how mother lemurs jump from tree to tree with their babies attached to them, healthcare costs for the average lemur, and the differences between Rugby and common terminologies.

Thank you to everyone involved in the last Demystifying the Expert of the year!