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Evolution and ecology at the University of Bath tent


The University of Bath is sponsoring the Bath Festival of Nature in 2016 as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. Showcasing the range of its research, the University is bringing a range of evolution and ecology experiments to the festival that everyone can take part in, from woodlouse mazes to games of random chance..

So what is a woodlouse maze? We spoke to Dr Daniel Henk from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry about what you can find in the University tent.

Daniel said: “A woodlouse maze is a behavioural experiment looking at how a woodlouse’s sense of direction works – or indeed if they have a sense of direction. First we set it up so they can only go one way, then give them the choice of which direction to go in, and add in a few variables. It’s really looking at how woodlice decide where to go. We’ll run the experiment and then discuss the results after everyone has contributed.”

Visitors will also be able to walk along an evolutionary timeline and take part in a dice game looking at selection and random chance. There will be microscopes set up with displays of aquatic wildlife, and people can bring in minibeasts they’ve found themselves to study under the microscopes.

Click here for full programme details