Research Communications

Darwin lecture to focus on impact of climate change on animal extinction 

Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies to celebrate Darwin’s birthday

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 8, 2010) – In honor of Charles Darwin’s 201st birthday, the Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies will sponsor a lecture by internationally renowned scientist Catherine Badgley on the impact of climate change on animal evolution and extinction.

Badgley, a professor in the University of Michigan’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology, will present “From Fossils to Food: A Darwinian Perspective on the Modern Biodiversity Crisis” at noon on Friday, Feb. 12, in Ohio University’s Baker University Center Ballroom.

Badgley will discuss animal extinction over time, the current impact of human activities on global biodiversity and the influences of accelerating global climate change. The scientist is internationally known for her work on the paleontology of climate change and extinction and the conflict between sustainable agriculture and sustainable biodiversity.

Badgley’s lecture is part of a two-day recognition of the 201st birthday of Charles Darwin. The Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies also will host a “Darwin Birthday Party” from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Dairy Barn in Athens to celebrate the father of evolution. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend.

In addition, the center will host three special events for Ohio University students and faculty to meet with Badgley:

•    10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 11: Graduate student coffee, 127 Life Sciences Building
•    Noon, Thursday, Feb. 11: Undergraduate/graduate lunch, 103 Life Sciences Building
•    10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12: Faculty coffee, 127 Life Sciences Building

The Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies, an interdisciplinary research and teaching center at Ohio University, has sponsored the Darwin Lecture Series in conjunction with the scientist’s birthday since 2008. Past visiting presenters include Kenneth Dial, professor at University of Montana, and Nina Jablonski, professor and chair of the department of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University.  

Sponsors have included the Kennedy Lecture Series, and the departments of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Environmental and Plant Biology, African Studies, Political Science and Women’s Studies at Ohio University.

In addition, the Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies will sponsor another speaker as part of the Kitzmiller Lecture Series, which examines the controversy over intelligent design and creationism, this June. Elliot Sober, the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will present “Did Darwin Write the Origin of Species Backwards?” at noon on Thursday, June 3, in Baker Ballroom.

For more information about the center, visit: http://www.ocees.ohio.edu/.

Contacts: Steve Reilly, (740) 593-0424, reilly@ohio.edu; Director of Research Communications Andrea Gibson, (740) 597-2166, gibsona@ohio.edu.