Understanding bats, bees and zombie parasites

Anand Varma photographs bees in his studio.

Anand Varma, Contributed photo

Hummingbirds, bees, bats and zombie parasites are examined in "Beauty and the Bizarre," a National Geographic Live! presentation, at UCSB Campbell Hall on March 5 at 3 p.m.

Photographer Anand Varma captures the small wonders of the world through his lens, harnessing the beauty of iridescent hummingbird feathers, the science of honeybees and the hidden world of parasites. The Atlanta, Georgia, native helps biologists communicate their research through photographs. In 2010, he was awarded a Young Explorer Grant from the National Geographic Society to photograph the wetlands of northern Patagonia. He has photographed two feature stories for National Geographic magazine.

In the second half of the program, bats will take center stage when scientist Rodrigo Medellín, subject of the BBC documentary, "The Bat Man of Mexico," shares his enthusiasm for these animals. Considered one of the world's experts on the subject, Medellín is a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Together, Varma and Medellín hope to change the way we see some of nature’s most beautiful and strange creations.

This is a UCSB Arts & Lectures program. For more information and tickets, call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures@ucsb.edu.

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