Darwin & Kitzmiller Lectures

Every year, OCEES sponsors presentations by world-class researchers in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. These are our “Darwin Speakers,” in honor of the achievements of Charles Darwin. Most years, the Darwin Lecture is held on or near Darwin’s birthday (February 12, 1809). In addition to their presentation, Darwin Speakers interact extensively with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty at various sponsored events. Past Darwin Speakers are listed below.

From 2009–2015, OCEES also sponsored an annual Kitzmiller Lecture. This was in honor of the 11 parents from the Dover, Pennsylvania school district who filed a lawsuit in 2005 (Kitzmiller v. Dover) that put intelligent design on trial. The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is creationism, in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Attacks on the teaching of evolution are always ongoing. Past Kitzmiller Lectures are listed at the bottom of this page.

Darwin Lectures

Year Darwin Institution Department Title
2020 Janet Browne Harvard Department of the History of Science Commemorating Darwin
2019 Tracy Langkilde PennState Department of Biology Evolutionary responses of animals to environmental challenges: coping with noisy landscapes & invasive predators
2018 Andrea Wulf Historian & Writer   The invention of nature
2017 Adam Summers University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories From Fining Nemo to finding patents – the natural history of the sea as inspiration
2016 Neil Shubin University of Chicago Department of Organismal Biology & Anatomy Finding your inner fish
2015 Anthony Herrel Muséum National s'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France Départment Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité Galapagos finches, Croatian lizards, and evolution on ecological time scales
2014 Mike Webster Cornell University Department of Neurobiology & Behavior Darwin and misperceptions: what evolution isn't
2013 Patricia Wright Stony Brook University Department of Anthrolology + Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology If Darwin had gone to Madagascar
2012 Ross McPhee American Museum of Natural History Department of Mammalogy Fireballs from heaven, climate change, diseases, or men with spears: explaining (or not) ice age extinctions
2011 Owen Lovejoy Kent State University Department of Anthrolopology Ardi, Lucy and the origins of humans
2010 David Hillis University of Texas Department of Integrative Biology Applications of the tree of life
2010 Catherine Badgley University of Michigan Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology From fossils to food: a Darwinian perspective on the modern biodiversity crisis
2009 Nina Jablonski PennState Department of Anthropology Darwin's birthday suit: the evolution of human skin and skin color
2008 Ken Dial University of Montana College of Humanities and Sciences What use is half a wing in the ecology and evolution of flight?


Past Kitzmiller Lectures

Year Kitzmiller Institution Department Title
2015 Patricia Kelley University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Geography and Geology Evolution and creation: conflicting or compatible
2012 Jacque Gauthier Yale University Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences Not your parents’ dinosaurs: the role of crown dinosaurs and stem-birds in evolutionary theory
2011 Richard Lenski Michigan State University Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Evolution in action: bugs and bytes
2010 Elliot Sober University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Philosophy Darwin and intelligent design
2009 Kevin Padian University of California, Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology Darwin, Dover, and intelligent design