Tag Archives: video

New video about how SARS-CoV2 spreads

28 Mar


I worked with Brandon Ugbunu, Senay Yitbarek and Olivia Pham to make this video about how the SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes COVID19 spreads.

Hope it’s useful!


New video: COVID19 in numbers: R0, the case fatality rate and why we need to flatten the curve

11 Mar

Pleuni Pennings, Senay Yitbarek and Brandon Ogbunu are asking all mayor and presidents to help reduce R0 for the SARS-CoV2 / COVID19 outbreak by canceling events and washing your hands.

Brandon Ogbunu (Brown University),  Senay Yitbarek (UC Berkeley) and I (Pleuni Pennings, SFSU) made a video about the two numbers most often used to describe the new coronavirus outbreak: R0 and the case fatality rate. We also talk about why we should and how we can “flatten the curve.”

Feel free to share, use as homework assignment, show in the classroom! Ideal for college level biology and calculus classes.


Translations kindly contributed by the following people:

Dutch translation by Alex Verkade.
Spanish translation by Berenice Chavez and Cecilia Hernandez.
Portuguese translation by Murillo Rodrigues and Luiza Ostrowski.

The video is also on YouTube: https://youtu.be/-3xZVhFhP8w

Download the slides here: COVID19_FlatteningTheCurveSlidesMarch172020

2014 NESCent Evolution Video Contest: the finalists

15 Jun

For the fourth time, NESCent organizes the NESCent Evolution Video Contest. For me, this was a good motivation to make a new video just in time to send it in.

Now twelve video’s were chosen by NESCent to be shown next week at the Evolution meeting in Raleigh. I am happy that my video (number 10) is amongst the finalists! Have a look at the videos and if you’re in Raleigh next week, go and vote for your favorite! (Saturday 21 June, 8-10 p.m., Room 402, popcorn provided!)

All the entries can be found on the NESCent website. Here are the twelve finalists:

1. Sex-y Science: Sex Ratios in Patchy Populations

Allison Neal

Sex-y Science: Sex Ratios in Patchy Populations from Allison Neal on Vimeo.

2. Exaptations versus Adaptations

Renske Onstein

Evolution: Exaptations versus Adaptations from Renske Onstein on Vimeo.

3. Please Tap Again

Ana Endara

Video not available 😦

4. Bird Clines

Osmond, et al (Univ. of British Columbia)

Bird Clines from Luc Luc on Vimeo.

5. Using Fitness Landscapes to Visualize Evolution in Action

Randy Olson and Bjørn Østman

Using fitness landscapes to visualize evolution in action from Bjørn Østman on Vimeo.

6. Selfish Gene

Shankar Meyer, Guillaume Vandenesch, Adrien Bernheim

Selfish Gene from François Maginial on Vimeo.

7. Genetic Drift with Origami Ducks

Flo Débarre

Genetic Drift with Origami Ducks from Flo Débarre on Vimeo.

8. Drift

Will Ryan, et al (Florida State University)

Drift from Julia Kunberger on Vimeo.

9. The Adaptive Radiation of Darwin’s Finches

Andrew Hendry

The Adaptive Radiation of Darwin’s Finches – NSESCent/Evolution 2014 edit from Andrew Hendry on Vimeo.

10. Selective Sweeps in HIV

Pleuni Pennings

Selective sweeps in HIV from Pleuni Pennings on Vimeo.

11. The Genetics of Mouse Burrowing

Ariana Kam

The Genetics of Mouse Burrowing from Ariana Kam on Vimeo.

12. Dinosaur

Lori Henriques and Joel Henriques

Dinosaur from Lori Henriques on Vimeo.

How I made a whiteboard movie

8 Feb

Several people have asked me how I made the whiteboard movies about my work (see here and here). So here is a brief explanation.

1. First, I make drawings on paper and write a text that will go with the drawings.

2. Next I make the drawings on a small whiteboard and record it with my iPhone.

Here is a picture of my set-up for making the whiteboard movie. The pink thing is my iPhone 4, which takes the movie. I need several light sources to reduce the shadow from my hand (but they shouldn’t leave a reflection on the whiteboard).

The iPhone is mounted on a tripod with a special iPhone part. Maybe a different camera would be even more convenient, because with the iPhone I cannot zoom, and thus the height of the camera isn’t flexible.

My setup for making a movie on the kitchen table.

My set-up for making a movie on the kitchen table.

3. After I shoot the movie I import it to iMovie, where I can cut it, speed it up and add a voice-over. I use a simple plug-in microphone for the voice-over. 

4. When everything is done, I ask someone else to look at it and I realize that the story has to be told in a slightly different way, so I start again at step 1!

Making a whiteboard movie is a lot of work, but it is lots of fun too.

If you make one about evolution, consider sending it to the NESCent film festival. You can win a $1000 travel award. Last year my movie about slavemaking ants was the winner:

New video on slavemaking ants

27 Mar

As I announced a few weeks ago, I have been working on a new video on my work on slavemaking ants. It is now ready and online!

In this video, we talk about our research on slavemaking ants and their hosts (slaves). The slavemakers are of one species (P. americanus) and the hosts of another species (T. longispinosus). Host ants can be captured by the slavemaker ants, and these captured ants (slaves) normally work for the slavemaker queen. But recently, it was found that they sometimes kill slavemakers (Achenbach and Foitzik 2009 and Pamminger et al. 2013). It is unclear why the slaves do this, because they probably cannot reproduce.

The video is based on the paper: “Oh sister, where art thou? Indirect fitness benefit could maintain a host defense trait” by Tobias Pamminger, Susanne Foitzik, Dirk Metzler and myself, which can be found here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.0790. Earlier, I wrote a blog-post about this paper for Haldane’s Sieve.

Susanne Foitzik, who is a professor in Mainz (and previously in Munich) and her students and colleagues have been working on this slavemaker-host system for many years. Another video of our work is here: Raiders from the sky.

The music for the video was taken from the Free Music Archive.