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Evolution of hyperactivity is focus of free public lecture at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Biologist Theodore Garland will give an hour-long lecture, titled "Born to Run: Evolution of Hyperactivity in Mice," at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, in the University Theatre on the UC Riverside campus. Doors open at 6 p.m. Seating is open.

In his talk, Garland, a professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, will address the evolution of voluntary locomotor activity, some aspects of exercise physiology, and some aspects of the motivation that underlies voluntary activity levels.

"My lecture will also discuss how selection experiments one form of experimental evolution can be used to address fundamental biological questions, sometimes with biomedical implications," he said.

The free, public lecture is being hosted by the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the Science Circle, a group of university and community members committed to advancing science at UCR and in Inland Southern California.

It is the second of three talks in the series "The Science of Evolution II: Applying Evolutionary Ideas." The remaining talk, "The Silent Majority: How Symbiotic Bacteria Evolve to Help and Hurt," is scheduled for Nov. 12.

The lecture series, which aims to boost the public's awareness and understanding of how science works and break down some of the misunderstandings about what scientists do, follows an earlier series of lectures on evolution held this year at UCR.

Garland obtained his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from UC Irvine. While at UCI, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study lizard exercise physiology in Australia.

After postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington, he joined the faculty in the Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During this period he also served as a program director at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. He was awarded a prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the NSF in 1991. He joined UCR in 2001.

Currently, Garland's research focuses on the physiological, neurobiological, and genetic analyses of activity levels; comparative studies of locomotion in snakes, fish, and lizards; how traits have evolved among species; and the evolution of the placenta in certain fish.

He is the author of nearly 200 research papers and book chapters, and recently co-edited "Experimental Evolution" (University of California Press, 2009).


Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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