If you would like to schedule a time for Dr. Beckerson to speak with your group, please email him in the CONTACT tab!
Community outreach and involvement is a vital part of Dr. Beckerson's work. He frequently volunteer to speak with K-12 classrooms about a variety of biology topics including GMOs, Evolution, Symbioses, the Food Web, Fungi, Pathogens, Viruses and Vaccination (including SARS-CoV-2), and of course Zombie Ants!
The Zombie Fungus Foray
Welcome to the Zombie Fungus Foray, a community science initiative in collaboration with the University of Central Florida for the discovery of Ophiocordyceps species! Ophiocordyceps are parasitic fungi that infect many species of insects globally, and while they typically go unnoticed, their life style is nothing short of amazing. These fungi, also known as "Zombie Fungi", infect their hosts and secrete mind-altering substances that cause the insects to behave in a way that is optimal for dispersal of fungal spores.
The Zombie Fungus Foray utilizes the free-to-use app from National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences, iNaturalist. iNaturalist allows the user to take pictures of wildlife and upload them to a database where they can be used for real life science. The app will analyze the image in real time and offer suggestions for what type of organism it in your picture, making it an excellent tool for learning about the world around you!
The app also keeps GPS coordinates of uploaded pictures, allowing users to find certain organisms in their area. The Zombie Fungus Foray uses these GPS coordinates to lead "Zombie Ant Hunts" in the local community. Learn more about UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS at the top of this page!
Learn more about the Zombie Fungus Foray at our website: TheZombieFungusForay.com
Self-Guided K-12 Lesson Plan
Our self-guided lesson plan for K-12 classrooms is still under construction. Check back in 2022 to learn more!