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Leading evolutionary scientist to discuss how genome of bacteria has evolved

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Nancy A. Moran, an internationally renowned expert on evolution, will give the 2012 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture at the University of California, Riverside on Monday, March 5.

The lecture, titled "Genome evolution in endosymbiotic bacteria," will take place at 4 p.m. in the Genomics Auditorium, Room 1102A, Genomics Building. The talk will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. in the Entomology Building lobby. Both the talk and reception are free of charge and open to the public. Parking costs $6.

Endosymbiotic bacteria are bacteria that live only within specialized host cells. Symbiotic associations between insects and bacteria have evolved many times and are driven by a variety of effects of symbionts on hosts, including protection from enemies, manipulation of reproductive systems, and nutritional provisioning. Although these symbionts typically cannot be cultured, studies of their genomes have illuminated their biology and their functions in hosts. In her talk, Moran will share insights into general patterns of genome evolution gained from these studies.

Moran is the William H. Fleming Professor in the Department of Biology and Evolutionary Ecology at Yale University, where she has been since 2010. She received her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1982, following which she became a National Academy of Sciences Scholar at the Institute of Entomology in Czechoslovakia. Later, she had a postdoctoral fellowship at Northern Arizona University. In 1986 she joined the faculty at the University of Arizona, where she worked her way through the professorial steps to become a Regents' Professor in 2001.

Moran's area of interest is the symbiotic relationship between insects and their bacterial symbionts. Her research combines genomic, genetic, molecular, and population studies to investigate a variety of topics in the evolution of these systems. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 publications and her work is highly cited (~10,000 times).

Her numerous honors include: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow; member of the American Academy of Microbiology; member of the National Academy of Sciences; member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the International Prize for Biology from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

The Boyce lectures were instituted in 1977 and honor Alfred M. Boyce (1901-1997), one of the world's leading authorities on insects and mites that attack citrus and walnuts. Boyce served as the director of the UCR Citrus Experiment Station, first dean of the College of Agriculture, and assistant director of the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station.


Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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