Darwin & Kitzmiller Lectures

Luke Harmon, portrait
Dr. Luke Harmon, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho

The 2024 Darwin Lecture: Dr. Luke Harmon discussing "A World Without Species."

See Darwin Lecture Details

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

2021- 2023No speakers due to pandemic.   
2020Janet BrowneHarvardDepartment of the History of ScienceCommemorating Darwin
2019Tracy LangkildePenn StateDepartment of BiologyEvolutionary responses of animals to environmental challenges: coping with noisy landscapes & invasive predators
2018Andrea WulfHistorian & Writer The invention of nature
2017Adam SummersUniversity of WashingtonFriday Harbor LaboratoriesFrom Fining Nemo to finding patents – the natural history of the sea as inspiration
2016Neil ShubinUniversity of ChicagoDepartment of Organismal Biology & AnatomyFinding your inner fish
2015Anthony HerrelMuséum National s'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, FranceDépartment Écologie et Gestion de la BiodiversitéGalapagos finches, Croatian lizards, and evolution on ecological time scales
2014Mike WebsterCornell UniversityDepartment of Neurobiology & BehaviorDarwin and misperceptions: what evolution isn't
2013Patricia WrightStony Brook UniversityDepartment of Anthrolology + Department of Ecology & Evolutionary BiologyIf Darwin had gone to Madagascar
2012Ross McPheeAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryDepartment of MammalogyFireballs from heaven, climate change, diseases, or men with spears: explaining (or not) ice age extinctions
2011Owen LovejoyKent State UniversityDepartment of AnthrolopologyArdi, Lucy and the origins of humans
2010David HillisUniversity of TexasDepartment of Integrative BiologyApplications of the tree of life
2010Catherine BadgleyUniversity of MichiganDepartment of Ecology & Evolutionary BiologyFrom fossils to food: a Darwinian perspective on the modern biodiversity crisis
2009Nina JablonskiPennStateDepartment of AnthropologyDarwin's birthday suit: the evolution of human skin and skin color
2008Ken DialUniversity of MontanaCollege of Humanities and SciencesWhat use is half a wing in the ecology and evolution of flight?


Past Kitzmiller Lectures

2015Patricia KelleyUniversity of North Carolina WilmingtonDepartment of Geography and GeologyEvolution and creation: conflicting or compatible
2012Jacque GauthierYale UniversityDepartment of Earth & Planetary SciencesNot your parents’ dinosaurs: the role of crown dinosaurs and stem-birds in evolutionary theory
2011Richard LenskiMichigan State UniversityDepartment of Microbiology & Molecular GeneticsEvolution in action: bugs and bytes
2010Elliot SoberUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonDepartment of PhilosophyDarwin and intelligent design
2009Kevin PadianUniversity of California, BerkeleyDepartment of Integrative BiologyDarwin, Dover, and intelligent design