2013 DARWIN LECTURE
THURSDAY March 14th
Dr. Patricia Wright
Professor of Anthropology, Stony Brook University
Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments
If only Darwin had
gone to Madagascar..
Patricia Wright, PhD is an accomplished primatologist, anthropologist,
and conservationist. Having spent nearly three decades studying of
social behavior and ecology of wild lemurs Madagascar she is recognized
as the world’s foremost expert on lemurs. She has also led conservation
efforts to preserve lemurs and their forests as founder and Director of
the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments, the
Centre ValBio and she spearheaded the establishment of Ranomafana
National Park in Madagascar.
Darwin Lecture will examine the evolution of lemurs, which may have
peaked Darwin’s interests more than the Galapagos Finches did, if the
Beagle had made a stop in Madagascar.
Meet & greet and Book Signing Afterwards
FLYER for this
2012 KITZMILLER LECTURE
Dr. Jacques Gauthier
Professor, Geology & Geophysics & Curator, Yale Peabody Museum of
APRIL 26th Noon BAKER BALLROOM
“Not Your Parents’ Dinosaurs: The Role of Crown Dinosaurs and
Stem-Birds in Evolutionary Theory”
you know that tyrannosaurs had feathers? New fossils have
dramatically altered our understanding of dinosaur evolution. In a
triumph for the predictive power of the Darwin’s ‘Theory of
Descent’, they provide more support of the idea that birds are in
fact living (crown) dinosaurs. But this also means that other
species such as Diplodocus and Triceratops are in fact early (stem)
birds. This may not seem intuitive, as those extinct giants are so
different from one another and from the diminutive hummingbirds of
today. However, our job as evolutionists should be less concerned
with similarity and more focused on discovering common-ancestry
relationships. And on that point there can be no doubt: dinosaurs
share a deep genealogical connection with birds. Although this
hypothesis has been the simplest explanation for the available data
from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, it continues to
meet resistance. The history of this controversy can teach us some
profound lessons about the scientific enterprise, not the least of
which is that although science as a process may be objective, people
are scientists, and they sometimes aren’t.
2012 OCEES DARWIN LECTURE
8th 2012 - 4pm Baker Center
heaven, climate change, diseases, or men with spears:
Explaining (or not) ice age extinctions”
During the last ice age, a spate of mysterious extinctions affected
mammals (and, to a lesser extent, birds and reptiles) on a nearly
worldwide basis. These extinctions were peculiar in several respects. On
mainlands large (megafaunal) species were at particular
risk. On islands, whole vertebrate faunas disappeared or were reduced
to a fraction of their former diversity. Some losses were sudden, others
were protracted and they were not
synchronous. Similar dieoffs occurred in Australia, New Guinea, the
Mediterranean and Madagascar. Astoundingly, nearby Africa escaped almost
Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were
principally concerned with species origination, not extinction. Yet they
were fully aware that something dire had happened to the world’s fauna
in the recent past: Wallace noted that “the sudden dying out of so many
large Mammalia, not in one place, but over half the land surface of the
globe … has hardly been sufficiently dwelt upon.”
More than 150 years on, late Quaternary extinctions remain a scientific
puzzle. In this presentation I will examine current explanations,
grouped under four headings: humans did it (“overkill”), climate change
did it (“overchill”), infectious disease did it (“overill”), or a
fireball did it (“overgrill”). Missing evidence still limits historical
inferences but new approaches, such as ancient DNA, are helping to
reveal what happened to all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest
animals that recently roamed our planet.
MacPhee is Curator of Mammology at the
American Museum of
Natural History in New York.
Three National Academy of Sciences Speakers
2011 OCEES KITZMILLER LECTURE
4th 2011 - Noon Baker Center
in Action: Bugs and Bytes”
us discovered of evolution as children visiting museums and seeing the
fossil remains of extinct organisms from long ago. Today biologists use
the fact of evolution to make sense of the similarities and differences
in the genomes, physiology, morphology, and behavior of organisms.
Evolution is often thought of as something that happened in the past,
but evolution is also an on-going process that is easily observed. Dr.
Lenski will show you experiments on evolution in
different realms - bacterial (bugs) and digital (bytes). Over 20 years
ago, he started a simple experiment with 12 identical populations of
E. coli, and these bacteria have been evolving in my lab for over
50,000 generations. He has been watching them as they evolve both in
their outward phenotypes and underlying genomes. More recently, Dr
Lenski joined a computer scientist, a philosopher, and a physicist to
study artificial life that evolves inside a computer. These digital
organisms are programs that replicate, mutate, compete, and change over
time. Complex functions have evolved that require the coordination of
many instructions, and they have studied each step along the way to see
how these functions arose. Worldwide research is turning to
experimental evolution in both biological and computational realms and
he will briefly highlight other interesting findings as well.
Lenski holds the Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbial Ecology
in the program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan
State University. He is a fellow at the American Academy of
Microbiology and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A
previous MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Lenski was elected to the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences in 2006. With his expertise in evolution he
co-founded the NSF Science and Technology Center for the Study of
Evolution in Action. Known as the BEACON Center it focuses on
applied and experimental research on evolutionary dynamics.
Michigan State University
June 2011 OU
Anthropology Club DARWIN LECTURE
17th, 4pm - Baker Center Ballroom
Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy
Lucy and the Origins of Humans”
Biological Anthropologist, Owen Lovejoy will examine the
origins of humans with evidence from his work on the new hominid “Ardi”
and the early hominid “Lucy” (Australopithecus
Dr. Lovejoy is
a University Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Sociology
and Anthropology at
University. He is well known for his work on reconstructing
"Lucy" a nearly complete fossil of an early bipedal hominid that lived
about three million years ago. His research has covered a broad spectrum
of biological areas with a focus on the evolution of early hominid
skeletal systems and locomotion. In 2007 he was elected to the National
Academy of Sciences and he is currently the director of the Matthew
Ferrini Institute For Human Evolutionary Research at Kent State
Kent State University
2010-11 OCEES DARWIN LECTURE
4th 2010 4pm - Baker Center Theatre
“Applications of the Tree of Life”
Hillis will discuss progress in understanding the evolutionary history
of life, and will focus on some of the many practical applications of
this information. Some of the applications he will discuss include
fighting emerging diseases, developing new vaccines, conservation
applications, and developing new tools to increase public access to
information about biodiversity.
Dr. Hillis is
the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professorship in Natural Sciences at the
University of Texas, a previous MacArthur Fellow and a member of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences the United States National Academy
of Sciences. He is a leader
in developing the field of bioinformatics and phylogenetic analysis, and
has co-authored Molecular Systematics
and Life: The Science of Biology,
one of the leading college introductory textbooks on biology. Dr.
Hillis has served as President of the Society for the Study of Evolution
and President of the Society of Systematic Biologists. At the
University of Texas, Dr. Hillis has served as Director of the School of
Biological Sciences and the Director of the Center for Computational
Biology and Bioinformatics.
He also owns and operates the Double Helix Ranch, where
he raises Texas Longhorn Cattle.
University of Texas
2010 OCEES KITZMILLER LECTURE
- -honoring the
people who established that intelligent design is creationism- -
Wednesday June 2nd NOON Baker Center Ballroom
Dr. Elliott Sober
Powerpoint slides here
and Intelligent design”
After reviewing the basic ideas in
evolutionary theory, I'll consider how the theory is related to the
question of whether one should believe in God. I argue that the theory
does not conflict with belief in God, though it does conflict with some
specific religious claims, like young earth creationism.
I also argue that the theory does not conflict with the existence of a
God who sometimes intervenes in nature. I then consider what biologists
mean by mutations' being "undirected." I'll conclude with some
of Darwin's own views of creationism, the existence of God, and
is Hans Reichenbach Professor & William
F. Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and
author of Evidence and Evolution - The Logic Behind the Science
(2008) and 9 other books about
adaptation, natural selection and the philosophy, psychology, and
politics of evolutionary biology.
2010 OCEES DARWIN LECTURE
to the lecture provided by the Department of African Studies
February 12th 2010 Baker Center Ballroom
Fossils to Food: A Darwinian Perspective on the Modern Biodiversity
over time and space
to the current impact of human activities on global biodiversity and the
influences of accelerating global climate change.
is internationally known for her
work on the paleontology of climate change and extinction and the
conflict between sustainable agriculture and sustainable biodiversity.
She is a professor in the
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of
Michigan and past-president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
2009 OCEES KITZMILLER LECTURE
people who established that intelligent design is creationism.
2009 Baker Center Ballroom
Dr. Kevin Padian presented “Darwin, Dover and intelligent design” featuring
his experiences with the Kitzmiller vs. Dover court case.
Dr. Padian, one of the
world's leading evolutionary biologists and dinosaur biologists, is
Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator in the University of
California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley and the President of the
National Center for Science Education.
2009 OCEES DARWIN LECTURE
Baker Center Ballroom
Dr. Nina G. Jablonski
presented “Darwin's birthday suit: The evolution of human skin and skin color”
featuring biological and cultural aspects of human skin - a
highly visible and excellent example of evolution by natural selection
acting on the human lineage.
Dr. Jablonski is
internationally known for her work on primate biology, culture and
language and is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at
the Pennsylvania State University.
We had a grand day
celebrating Darwin's 200th birthday!
information please see press release by Ohio University Research Communications
For more information: call 740 593-0424 or contact
email@example.com The Ohio Center for
Ecology and Evolutionary Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, 107 Irvine
Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701.