Science Café Las Vegas, supported by the UNLV College of Sciences, is an organization geared towards bringing fascinating science discussions to the public of Southern Nevada.

We invite scientists to give short (~10-15 minute) presentations to the public at our fantastic venue, McMullan's Irish Pub, and then have roundtable discussions about anything you could possibly wish to know.

Science Café Las Vegas is on the first Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8 p.m.

Come on down to the pub for lively science discussion, delicious brews, fantastic food, and a great time! Family friendly (under age 21 allowed).

Next Science Cafe - October 4th, 2023


Dr. Nicole Pietrasiak, Associate Professor of Sustainable Arid Lands, UNLV School of Life Sciences

"The Enigmatic World of Biological Soil Crusts"

The ground exposed between the sparingly distributed shrubs, cacti, and bunch grasses around Las Vegas may look like an empty, lifeless surface in the desert landscape. However, after a rain event it becomes evident that the soil can teem with life – microscopic life! Many unique soil microbes and cryptogams found in the top cm of desert ground form what is known as biological soil crusts. Biological soil crusts are living soil aggregates essential to desert soil stability, fertility, and water retention and thus are recognized to have important roles in ecosystem sustainability, soil health, and protection against soil loss. Just as native plant species are adapted to local habitats, so are the microbial species in these soil crusts. In her Science Café hour Dr. Pietrasiak will speak about the enigmatic microscopic world of biological soil crusts, its unique and diverse flora, as well as how cyanobacteria aka blue-green algae are now recognized as keystone taxa.


McMullan's Irish Pub

4650 W. Tropicana Ave. #110
Las Vegas, NV 89103

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