When photosynthesizing life in the oceans started injecting its waste product oxygen into the atmosphere over two billion years ago, lifeforms had to adapt to what until then had been a toxic gas. This was probably when the hazy atmosphere of early Earth cleared to reveal the first blue skies. Since then, plants and animals have adapted to the various forms of environmental sunlight, influencing biochemistry and vision.
Using recent work on the vision of reindeer during the long arctic winter, Bob Fosbury will describe how these animals turbocharge their eyesight to survive the extreme and challenging conditions resulting from the ozone layer's effects, which makes the extended twilight so blue. He will conclude by remarking on how some recently introduced forms of artificial lighting are breaking these billions of years of adaptation and are beginning to damage the life of many kinds, including us.
What You Will Learn:
• About environmental light and the role ozone plays, particularly at sunrise or sunset
• Reindeer vision and seasonal changes in their tapetum lucideum
Who Should Attend:
• Graduate students and researchers in vision sciences, biology, optics, and ophthalmology
• Optical researchers and professionals who would like to gain insight into how animal vision adapted to best meet the challenges in the visual environment, which might inspire sophisticated artificial designs