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Tropical Birds and Army Ants at Next Clarkson University Science Cafe Wednesday

[A photograph for media use is available at]

Bizarre life forms of the tropics will be discussed by St. Lawrence University Professor of Biology Susan Willson at the next Science Cafe at Jack & Wezzie’s Coffee House in Potsdam this Wednesday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Willson’s presentation is titled "Why are There Such Bizarre Life Forms in the Tropics? A Look at the Specialized World of Army Ants and Obligate Ant-Following Birds."swilson

In describing it, Willson says, "The tropics are home to an amazing diversity of life forms that are not found anywhere else. In this Science Cafe we will focus on the ecology and evolution of one such group- the carnivorous swarm-raiding army ants, and the few bird species whose lives are so intertwined with the army ants, that they cannot live without them."

Join Willson in a lively discussion of the fascinating ecology of army ants and ant-following birds, based on her years of work with these specialized animals in one of the most remote and pristine rainforests of the Amazon basin.

Science Cafes bring together engineers, scientists and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat, or to place your food or drink order.

Find out more about Clarkson’s Science Cafe at

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at with any questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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