Internet videos

I regularly record videos that report on new findings of my biology colleagues worldwide. Dutch versions are available on my YouTube channel.

In 2012 I recorded five lectures for “de Universiteit van Nederland” (UvN) about evolutionary biology (in Dutch). These were broadcasted via internet in January 2013. In September 2013 lecture 1 was also broadcasted via the NPO on national Dutch television. A short radio newsclip about these lectures on the local network L1 can be found here. Below the videos you can see the answers to some frequently asked questions about these lectures.

Frequently asked questions about the five UvN lectures:
Q: You state (in lecture 1) that the number of children an organism produces is what matters most, but shouldn’t the children also survive until reproductive age to have an impact?

A: Yes, that is true. If two organisms produce 2 and 10 children but all 2 survive and out of 10 9 die, the organism with less children has a greater impact on evolution. The (simplified) version of reproductive succes I used during my lecture omitted this nuance.

Q: You state (in lecture 2) that forms such as Tiktaalik and other early tetrapod lineages might have been able to feed on land due to their neck flexibility, but what did they eat?

A: In the Devonian (c. 410-360 million years ago) life on land started to develop quite well, with arthorpods (mites, trigonotarbids, wingless insects, and myriapods) and plants evolving. The catfishes of the lecture are typical suction feeders in water but also eat insects on land using the technique shown in the lecture. This might mean that insects were a source of food for these early tetrapods as well, although their is no support for this statement other than the resembling flexibility of the neck.

Q: You state (in lecture 3) that females need to be stimulated properly to be fertilized (i.e. otherwise no fertilization occurs), but is this also true in humans?

A: It is obvious in humans that without proper stimulation females can still become pregnant. In contrast, in quite some other animal groups the female cannot be fertilized if the proper sequence of stimuli is absent. It is interesting though, that the female having an orgasm seems to increase the chance of fertilization as well in humans.