Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Friday, March 01, 2024

Memory in Bone

The unexpected and illuminating biology of antlers
Dr. Jason Davis Antlers

Dr. Jason Davis’s topic on the January 12th Lecture Series presentation is “Memory in Bone:  The unexpected and illuminating biology of antlers”.  Dr. Davis plans to talk about antlers as intermittent things.  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.

Dr. Jason Davis is an Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Director of the Honors College at Radford University.  He holds a PhD in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior from Emory University.  He is codirector 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.