Past KTU Programs - Kids' Tech University (KTU)
Dr. Lou GuilletteMarch 20, 2010
“Why Do We Need Alligators in the Swamp?”

An interactive session led by Dr. Lou Guillette



Presentation Slides

Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Florida (UF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor, and director of the HHMI UF G.A.T.O.R. Program

We live in a modern world and wonder, “why do we still have dangerous animals?” Why do we need animals – like the alligator – living in our swamps? We will explore the world of the alligator and why these animals are not only important to the swamp, but what they can tell us about the world we live in. We will discuss the concept of a “keystone species” and a “sentinel species.” A keystone species is one that other animals depend on and, if lost from our world, would lead to major changes in the environment. A sentinel species can be used to inform us about the health of a population or environment. We will learn just how the alligator is helping make a safer and cleaner environment for all of us.

Dr. Lou Guillette is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Florida (UF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor, and director of the HHMI UF G.A.T.O.R. Program. His research is concentrated in three main areas: 1. Influence of contaminants on the developmental and reproductive biology of wildlife and humans, 2. Endangered species reproduction, and 3. Evolution of maternal-fetal chemical communication.

March 2010 - Hands-On Exhibits
After each KTU interactive session the students are escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Virginia Tech community.

March 2010 - Exhibitors
1. Air Force
2. American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
3. Biochemistry Club
4. Dairy Science Dept.
5. Engineers Without Borders
6. Environmental Student Organization
7. Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
8. Food Animal Practitioners Club (FAPC)
9. Geology Club
10. Horticulture Club
11. Marilyn Lanier- Dept. of Teaching and Learning
12. Linux & Unix Users Group at Virginia Tech
13. Master Gardeners
14. Microbiology Club at Virginia Tech
15. Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library
16. Andy Pereira - Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI)
17. Poultry Club
18. Richlands High School T2H (Trees to Hug)
19. Kathleen Short- Dept. of Building Construction
20. Sigma Alpha (Professional Agricultural Sorority)
21. Soil and Water Conservation Society
22. Sustainable Food Corps at VT
23. VA Career VIEW
24. VPI Cave Club
25. W.B. Alwood Society, Virginia Tech Entomology Dept.
26. Dr. Jianhua Xing