The University of Wisconsin-Madison's James F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution will celebrate Charles Darwin's birthday with its annual Darwin Day event on February 9th through the 11th, 2012. This year's theme, "Unnatural history: What bizarre biology can tell us about evolution," will explore the evolution of some of life's most unique oddities during a weekend of fun and interactive events for the whole family. The entire weekend is free and open to the public.
The event kicks off with a movie night Thursday, February 9th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at Union South on the UW-Madison campus . The evening will be hosted by Wisconsin Public Television's Charles Monroe Kane and feature a series of evolution-themed short films and lively audience discussion.
The keynote presentation titled, "Deep-sea octopuses, their origins and lives," will be delivered by Dr. Janet Voight, Associate Curator for Zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL. The address begins at 7:00pm on Thursday, February 10th, in the Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building on the UW-Madison campus. The address will be preceded by a reception at 6:30pm.
At 10:30am on Saturday, Dr. Edmund "Butch" D. Brodie III, Professor of Biology at the University of Virginia will give a presentation titled, "The witches' brew of predator-prey arms races: eye of newt,
fenny snakes and resistance to a deadly poison." Later, at 12:30pm, the third plenary lecture, "The big, the bad, and the ugly: parasitism and the origin of the world_s largest flowers," will be given by Dr. Charles Davis, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Both presentations will take place in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Forum.
In addition to the exciting public lectures, families and children are encouraged to participate in the Tree of Life scavenger hunt in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery's Town Hall from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday. These interactive activities allow participants to explore some of the incredible diversity of life on earth, and learn how that diversity came to be.
The James F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, which is organizing Darwin Day 2012, is a cross-college institute, supported by the College of Agricultural and Life Science, College of Letters and Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Education, and the Laboratory of Genetics. Other sponsors are listed at the institute's website: www.evolution.wisc.edu
If you'd like more information on this year's Darwin Day, or to see a detailed schedule of events, please visit http://www.evolution.wisc.edu/node/155 .