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Scent of a Male

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

Cheryl S. Asa, Ph.D., Fellow and 2009 Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Fellows Award recipient, Academy of Science – St. Louis; Director of Research, Saint Louis Zoo

How do animals, including humans, find the right mate? In most species females do the choosing. They look for males that are attractive, which can mean different things in different species, but females also look for males that are a good genetic match.

A male with “good genes” may be attractive to most if not all females, but if he’s a close relative, he won’t be a good genetic match. That means females also have to determine a male’s genetic distance to avoid inbreeding. When searching for the best match, females respond to subtle differences in male scent; and the way this genetically determined “odor fingerprint” affects a female appears to be similar across species, including humans.

Female cheetahs are notorious for being choosy, so the Saint Louis Zoo is studying how they use male scent marks to pick the best genetic match. Reproductive biologist, Dr. Cheryl Asa, talks about the nature and chemistry of pairing up.

Photo © John Storjohann, courtesy Saint Louis Zoo

Tour the Tables! From 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm representatives will be available in the lobby outside of the theater! Grab some brochures and ask your questions about students opportunities! Organizations include: Academy of Science of St. Louis – Junior Academy, American Association of University Women, Challenger Learning Center – St. Louis, Cub Creek Science Camp, Missouri Botanical Garden & Shaw Nature Reserve, Missouri Junior Science, Engineering & Humanities Symposium-UMSL, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis Community College – Flo Valley Tech Programs, St. Louis Community College – Meramec, (STARS)Students and Teachers as Research Scientists -UMSL, The Magic House, Tyson Research Center – Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri Health/Science Outreach Programs

To be held at:
Kirkwood High School Keating Theater,
801 West Essex, Kirkwood, MO 63122

FREE and OPEN to ALL—middle and high school students, teachers, adults and the general public. Registration not required.

FREE parking in high school lot.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITES TO COMPETE FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS— two $250 scholarships for middle and high school students. Attend 3 – 4 seminars or panel discussions and write about your experience. Scholarship decisions announced in May 2011.

DRAWINGS FOR TWO FREE JUNIOR SCIENCE ACADEMY MEMBERSHIPS at each Pioneering Science Seminar. Junior Academy of Science https://academyofsciencestl.org/initiatives/junior_academy.php— Real-world science opportunities and field trips monthly— for students of all abilities in grades 6 – 12.

Pioneering Science Series co-sponsor:


Tuesday, October 5, 2010
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
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