Dr. Jason Davis

Dr. Jason Davis

The Eighteenth Annual Winter Lecture Series at SML State Park begins Jan. 12. Shearer Rumsey put together the following program for the 2020 Winter Lecture Series:

• Jan. 12 - “Memory in Bone: The unexpected and illuminating biology of antlers,” Dr. Jason Davis, Radford University

• Feb. 9 - “Living with Black Bears: Biology, behavior, and avoiding conflicts with black bears,” Dan Lovelace, District Wildlife Biologist, DGIF

• March 8 - “The Wild World of People and Nature,” David and Cate Kuhn of the World Wildlife Fund

• April 5 - Hunter’s Raid: How the D—N Yankees Burned the Shenandoah from the Potomac to the James,” Beatrice Iceman, First Person Interpreter

Location: Discovery Center, Smith Mountain Lake State Park

Times: 3-4 p.m. Sundays

Ticket prices: Single ticket $8; season ticket $22; FSMLSP members $20; two season tickets $35.

Parking fee is included, and all tickets are paid at the door. The lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

Dr. Jason Davis plans to talk about antlers as intermittent things on the Jan. 12 lecture series presentation “Memory in Bone: The unexpected and illuminating biology of antlers.”

The racks of white-tailed bucks aren’t built to last, falling off every spring only to regrow over the following summer. And with each passing year, they grow back bigger, more impressive and more spikily intimidating than the year before. This begs the question: How do these amazing ornaments “know” how to grow? How do they come to branch and twist in the ways that they do? And most amazingly, how do they “remember” to regrow with the same patterns and even the same breaks that they had in previous years.

Davis is an Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Director of the Honors College at Radford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior from Emory University. He is co-director of Radford’s Ecophysiology Research Lab, where his work has focused on the physiological and behavioral mechanisms that animals use to adapt to a complex and changing world.

For more information, call Smith Mountain Lake State Park at (540) 297-6066. In case of questionable weather, call the park.

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