Search This Blog

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rodent family values by Monty Harper

Zoology student Tomica Blocker will share the science of "voles in love" in a program for children Saturday, March 10 at the Stillwater Public Library. 

Blocker, a master's student in zoology at Oklahoma State University, will present "My One and Only Vole" this month’s "Born to Do Science." "Born to Do Science" is a monthly program that gives students a chance to meet scientists and learn about their research. The series is hosted by Monty Harper, a local children's musician who composes a song for each program inspired by his guest scientist's work.

"Prairie voles are a fascinating species to study," said Harper. "It's a rare mammal that sticks with a single mate for life. It's even rarer to find a mammal species where mothers and fathers both care for their young. That's why certain types of prairie voles are useful model species for investigating human behavior and physiology; they are rodents with family values. We can learn a lot about ourselves by studying these cute little monogamous mammals."

The presentation will include hands-on activities for the participants.

"This one will be a lot of fun," said Harper. "We'll have kids up acting out vole social recognition using olfactory cues, analyzing vole behaviors in videos from the lab, and even designing their own vole research!"

"Born to Do Science" is free and open to students in at least third grade. Parents are encouraged to attend, participate, and learn along with their children. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Room 119 of the library. Registration is requested at (405) 377-3633 or

Check out the "Born to Do Science" blog at

Stillwater, OK

No comments:

Post a Comment