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How new species evolve is focus of public lecture at UC Riverside
Date:4/23/2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. What is a species and how does speciation the evolutionary process that results in the formation of new species come about? How have Charles Darwin's ideas contributed to our understanding of speciation?

Evolutionary biologist David Reznick will address these questions in a public lecture he will give at UC Riverside at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 30, in the University Theatre on campus.

The title of his talk is "The Evolution of Evolution: Darwin Then and Now."

"In this talk, I will explain how evolution is an evolving topic like any other science," said Reznick, a professor of biology at UCR. "I will introduce concepts of species and speciation that came before Darwin, show how he changed our understanding of these concepts, and then discuss the modern concept of species. I will show, too, that there are actually many different ways to define species."

Reznick's hour-long talk, which includes a question-and-answer session, is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Seating is open.

At UCR, Reznick studies evolution as a contemporary process and performs experiments on natural populations of organisms. He also studies how complex traits evolve in organisms. In addition, his lab conducts experiments for testing predictions from different facets of modern evolutionary theory in natural populations of guppies (small fresh-water fish that biologists have studied for long).

Reznick decided to take up a career devoted to evolutionary biology when he was a senior in Washington University, Mo., from where he graduated in 1974.

"It was a time of high ideals and I was looking for a type of research that could give ultimate answers to why the natural world is the way it is," he said. "Evolution seemed to fulfill that ideal."

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Contact: Iqbal Pittawala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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