Tomorrow Wednesday November 14th the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will be airing "A Squirrel's Guide to Success" 🐿🏆. This rivetingly adorable documentary follows an orphan baby red squirrel as it grows up and learns how to be wild 🌲🍂. Along the way they highlight the amazing super powers of squirrels by interviewing expert squirrel gazers 🐿👀about their ground breaking science 🔬.
Three of my all time favoriate squirrel gazers and mentors are featured! In this post I am going to talk a-little bit about the part each these three amazing squirrels scientists 🐿🔬play in this new documentary.
BUT first it is important to address that the real stars ⭐️ of this show are the UC Berkeley campus fox squirrels! I think they enjoyed filming and quickly embraced the camera crew and all their gear 🎥📸!
I was not interviewed for this particular show, but I did serve as the on set squirrel trainer 🐿🏋🏻♀️! My job was to assist the squirrels in their on camera appearances 🎥🐿and show off their amazing ability to leap on to tiny branches with grace. To do this I trained fox squirrels on the Berkeley campus to leap across obstacles on a large magnetic wall. The back of my head also makes a very brief appearance in the film 😂.
During my time as an undergraduate at Berkeley 🎓I had the opportunity to work with three veteran squirrel gazers 🐿👀. Each of them are not only meticulous animal scientists but amazing mentors and teachers who fostered my love ❤️ for science 🔬 and squirrels 🐿.
Dr. Mikel Delgado, Dr. Lucia Jacobs, and Dr. Robert Full are each featured in this new documentary describing how their work sheds light on the awesome traits that make squirrels such a successful species.
Dr. Mikel Delgado is a super star ⭐️scientist and squirrel gazer 🐿👀. Without her I would not be where I am today. She patiently took the time to show me the ropes when it came to working with wild squirrels and surviving in academia. In A Squirrel's Guide to Success, she explains how squirrels assess food items before they choose to store them and talks about her amazing research looking at where squirrels burry their nuts and which stored items get stolen! If you are interested in her work check out her website! catsandsquirrels.com/
Dr. Lucia Jacobs is a professor in the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley. Dr. Jacobs' research focuses on how species cognitive abilities evolved to be adaptive in the environments in which they live. I had the privilege to conduct research in her lab for 2 years, she taught me everything I know about being a squirrel scientist. In A Squirrel's Guide to Success, she explains how a fox squirrel's brain 🧠 grows larger during the season when they store food in order to help them remember where they put their nuts! 🌰🥜Check out her website for more information about all the awesome science going on in her lab! jacobs.berkeley.edu/
Dr. Robert Full is a professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Dr. Full is an unconventional squirrel gazer 🐿👀. His research is focused on biomechanics, which is the study of the movement and structure of living organisms. In his lab researchers study the way animals move and build robots 🤖 that mimic their movements in order to contribute to technologies that could help humans. One of his projects in collaboration with Dr. Lucia Jacobs explores how squirrels use their nibble bodies and rotating ankles to traverse and jump across branches.
During my time in the Jacobs lab I trained squirrels leap onto obstacles using a magnetic wall built in the Full Lab. For his part in the documentary Dr. Full explains just how amazing squirrels are at climbing, balancing, and leaping though the trees! 🐿🌲You can learn more about Dr. Full's work at his lab website: polypedal.berkeley.edu/
The documentary is scheduled premiere on PBS, Wednesday November 14th at 8 pm PST. To look at your local listings click here to visit the PBS website.
Here is a sneak peak of the show! 🐿⭐️👀