Even tarantulas get the blues

blue tarantula

Most people think of tarantulas as big, hairy and drab-colored spiders; but many species showcase vibrant blue colors on their legs and bodies.

A team of researchers at UA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego discovered that many species of tarantulas have independently evolved the ability to make these blue colors using nanostructures in their exoskeletons, rather than pigments. The result is published in the Nov. 27 issue of Science Advances.

Several reasons exist in other species. For example, male butterflies and birds also use nanostructures to appear vibrantly colored, attracting the attention of females during courtship, and different species range from deep blues to greens depending on female preferences.

“However, tarantulas don’t see well, so their blue colors could not have evolved for courtship,” concludes Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung, a Biomimicry Fellow in UA’s Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program and lead author on the study.

Story continues online.

Business executive group to assist UA

Fall sceneUA announced today that an advisory group composed of some of Akron’s leading business executives has been formed to provide assistance and counsel to President Scott L. Scarborough and the Board of Trustees.

“The Akron area has a wealth of business expertise and we are pleased that such an outstanding group of community leaders, many of them proud graduates of The University of Akron, has offered to provide assistance and counsel going forward,” President Scarborough said. “Their experiences and perspectives can help ensure that additional points of view are considered and that the community is more engaged in the important issues we are confronting. Ultimately, our goal is to work together to ensure we continue to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and alumni, while also developing and implementing our plans to enhance academic quality, grow the university and increase its national profile.”

See who's on the advisory group.

Zips top SMU, moves on to Elite Eight

men's soccer action Nov. 29

In a defensive battle it was the third-ranked men's soccer team that earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over No. 11 SMU (15-3-4) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

The triumph propelled the Zips (17-3-2) into the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals for the first time since Akron captured the NCAA title in 2010. The Zips will host sixth-ranked Creighton on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

Since 2005, Akron owns a 15-4-7 mark in home NCAA Tournament games and will be meeting Creighton for the second time in tournament play all-time.

Story continues online.

Career seminar to be hosted by Department of Mathematics

Alumna Ginny Gegick, who works as a retirement actuary for Aon Hewitt, will be the guest speaker at a career seminar hosted by the Department of Mathematics in Leigh Hall 312 on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Aon Hewitt is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Gegick, who earned both a B.S. in Applied Math and an MBA in December 2014, will talk about what retirement actuaries do and discuss employment opportunities with Aon Hewitt.

For more information, call Dr. J. Patrick Wilber at ext. 6994.

Ohio Band Directors Conference is Dec. 5

Symphonic Band

On Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 8 a.m., UA will host the Ohio Band Directors Conference in the Student Union. Concerts will be performed by the Kenston High School Symphonic Band, Edison Eighth Grade Band, Perry Symphonic Winds, and UA’s Concert and Symphonic bands.

Robert D. JorgensenUA alumnus Lt. Gregory Fritz, director of the Navy Band Northeast, will be the featured guest conductor.

Hear the world premiere of a new work by guest composer James Curnow, commissioned by Drs. Mark and Sandy Auburn, in honor of William K. Guegold, professor emeritus of music.

The 2015 conference is dedicated to the memory of Robert D. Jorgensen, at right, professor of music emeritus and director of bands emeritus, who died in July.

For a complete schedule, visit the Ohio Band Directors Conference online.

Tickets on sale now for ‘Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story’

Buddy Holly Story

“Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story” charts the meteoric climb and legendary adventures of a star that helped to forever change the face and sound of rock 'n' roll. This jukebox musical will be performed on Jan. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. in E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. It will feature such classics as "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day" and "Not Fade Away."

For ticket sales, call ext. 7570. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Akron Civic Theatre Box Office, located inside the front doors of the Summit County Building, across the street from the Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets for E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall events may also be purchased online at, by calling Ticketmaster Charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or at Ticketmaster outlets.


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