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Darwin Day Lecture – Evolution in Your Lifetime (Grand Rapids)

February 13, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


Join us for our  Darwin Day Lecture, Jeffrey K. Conner Ph.D. will be speaking on Evolution in Your Lifetime: Rapid Adaptation to a Changing Environment.

Most people think of evolution as a slow process that occurs over millions of years,  but biologists have repeatedly demonstrated that evolution can be very rapid when environments change.  This rapid adaptation can be both good and bad from a human standpoint. It can be bad when pathogenic bacteria, insect pests, and weeds evolve to be more successful and thus make us sick and compete with us for our food.  It can also be bad when humans unintentionally exert selection – a prime example is the evolution of smaller fish due to fishing pressure on the largest individuals.

Rapid evolution can be good for humans if it means native species can adapt to the large environmental changes caused by humans and thus avoid extinction.  More generally, all life on earth depends on the process of evolutionary adaptation, because species that are not well adapted go extinct. This talk will explain the mechanisms underlying evolutionary adaptation with examples from research on both native species and serious agricultural weeds.

Additional Information

Meetings are open to the Public and are held in the Auditorium on the lower level. Please use the door on the south side of the building on the lower level (by parking lot).

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Sports Bar, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

The Auditorium is wheelchair accessible via a lift immediately inside and to the left of the lower level door.

Center for Inquiry Michigan values full participation for all attendees at all of our events, including participation from individuals with disabilities. Requests for reasonable accommodation may be made by contacting Jennifer Beahan at jbeahan@centerforinquiry.net or 616-706-2029 at least three days prior to the event.

Learn about Parking, Accessibility, and more.

Cost: FREE / Suggested Donation $5. Ways to Support CFI & Donate Online

Contact: Jennifer Beahan, michigan@centerforinquiry.net, 616-698-2342

About Jeffrey K. Conner, Ph.D.

Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

  Jeffrey K. Conner, Professor of Plant Biology and Interim Director of Michigan State University's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Jeff received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard and a Ph.D (1988) from Cornell. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow, also at Cornell. Jeff was an Assistant Professor at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before moving to KBS in 1996. Jeff's research focuses on rapid evolutionary adaptation to changing environments in natural and weed populations; this work has been funded by the US Department of Agriculture and primarily the National Science Foundation continuously since 1993. He co-wrote A Primer of Ecological Genetics with Dan Hartl, and was Editor of the journal Evolution. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was the Walton Lecturer at Mountain Lake Biological Station and Distinguished Sabbatical Scholar at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, and has received graduate student and junior faculty mentoring awards from MSU.