How Metal-Eating Plants 'Mine' Toxic Pollution From Soil

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Video Discription: How Metal-Eating Plants 'Mine' Toxic Pollution From Soil
California Academy of Sciences - The California Academy of Sciences
Did you know that some plants like to eat metal? Over 1,000 species of plants are known to gobble up and store heavy metals, including a host of toxic elements such as nickel, cadmium, zinc, arsenic, and selenium. There are even some plants that store gold. Some of these plants store enough metals to make them toxic to animals like cattle, and a few of them are even mined for the metals they contain. The Academy's newest botany curator Dylan Burge will take you on a tour of the world's metal-munching plants, and explain how his research is helping to unravel how metal-storing plants evolved, and why they engage in this strange and way cool behavior. Dylan is an assistant curator in the Department of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences. He grew up in California, where he developed a love for living things. He attended UC Davis, and obtained a B.S. in Evolution and Ecology in 2004 before then completing his graduate work at Duke University, obtaining a Ph.D. in Biology in 2011. He has conducted post-doctoral work in Australia and Canada, and field work around the world, including Africa, Madagascar, Central America, and Mexico.

Speaker: Dylan Burge, Assistant Curator and Howell Chair of Western North American Botany


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