We were very lucky to have Dr. Ulrike Bauer visit the laboratory the past 10 days to collaborate on a Nepenthes transcriptome project. On October 26th, she gave a wonderful departmental seminar ‘Springboards, water slides and sticky pools – How carnivorous pitcher plants catch their food’. Dr. Ulrike’s research uses carnivorous plants as a model to investigate mechanical defense strategies of plants. Her work combines the study of functional plant morphology with elements of biomechanics, ecology and developmental biology to address both ecological and evolutionary questions. I invite you to read about her current research that was featured on BBC.com this October (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34414284) and to watch a short video (http://tinyurl.com/ndt3o2b). Of course, between lab work and brainstorming, we had to visit some great San Diego wilderness areas.