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Darwin's legacy in 21st century biology

This free, two-day colloquium begins February 12, 2009 with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the originator of the modern theory of evolution of species by means of natural selection. Darwin's theory is the foundation of all modern biology. The invited speakers provide a comprehensive Darwinian and historical framework for current theoretical and empirical research. As such, the symposium emphasizes how the work of Charles Darwin continues to inspire biology in the 21st century and beyond. This program is part of the City of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania's Year of Evolution

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009


Introductory remarks: Dr. Warren Ewens, Professor, Department of Biology

Dr. Rick Grosberg, Professor of Evolution and Ecology, University of California Davis will speak on evolutionary dynamics in marine systems.

Dr. Deborah Charlesworth, FRS, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh will discuss plant breeding systems.

Dr. Jerry Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, will speak on the process and pattern of speciation

Lunch: 12:15 to 1:30

Dr. Dorothy Cheney, Professor of Biology, University of Pennsylvania will lecture on the expression of emotions and cognition in primates

Dr. John Doebley, Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin will discuss variation under domestication

Dr. Ottoline Leyser, Professor of Biology, University of York will discuss plant signaling

Concluding remarks: Dr. Paul Sniegowski, Professor Department of Biology

Public Lecture and Symposium Keynote Speaker

6:00 p.m. Kenneth R. Miller, Ph.D., author of Only a Theory? Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul. Public lecture at the University Museum

Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
Title: Darwinian Evolution: from Molecules to People


Introductory remarks: Dr. Rick Bushman, Professor of Microbiology, SOM.

Dr. Bette Korber, External Professor, Santa Fe Institute, Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Evolution of HIV.

Dr. Susan Lindquist, Professor of Biology at MIT, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Molecular evolution.

Dr. Marjorie Oettinger, Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Regulation of recombination events during lymphoid development.

Lunch: 12:15 to 1:30

Dr. Haig Kazazian, Seymour Gray Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Retrotransposons in humans.

Dr. Nancy Cox, Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Chief of the Section of Genetic Medicine University of Chicago. Genetic variation influencing susceptibility to complex disorders.

Dr. Sarah Tishkoff, David and Lyn Silfen University, Associate Professor (Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor) in the department of biology and the department of genetics, SOM. Human variation and disease.

Dr. Junhyong Kim, Professor of Biology, SAS, concluding remarks.


Contact: Jordan Reese
University of Pennsylvania

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