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Darwin Day – On the Evolution of Echolocation in Bats (Grand Rapids)Date:
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Wealthy Theatre Annex – Front Studio (map below)
1110 Wealthy Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506 United States
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Join us for our annual Darwin Day Lecture as Dr. Amy Russell, Ph.D. shares her lecture: On the Evolution of Echolocation in Bats: By Means of Natural Selection?
Bats are one of the most fascinating groups of mammals, having evolved the capacity for ultrasonic echolocation and true powered flight. In addition, they are one of the most diverse groups of mammals, having over 1400 species described to date, and are extraordinarily long-lived given their small body size. Echolocation in bats is a complex trait, involving the coordination of sound production and auditory reception within a variable environment. Across the Order, bat species are capable of both constant-frequency (CF) and frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation, which allows CF-echolocating bats to navigate in a densely cluttered environment and allows FM-echolocating bats to exploit a greater diversity of insect prey.
In the western hemisphere, only one genus of bats, Pteronotus, has evolved CF echolocation. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Russell has studied the evolution of echolocation frequency in Caribbean populations of Pteronotus bats. Along with her colleagues, she has used genetic analyses to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these island populations, acoustic analyses to characterize variation in echolocation traits among populations, and morphological analyses to correct for the confounding effects of body size on acoustic properties. Using a new approach to distinguish the effect of different evolutionary forces, they have shown that natural selection is influencing echolocation in at least one island population of bats. Differences in echolocation call frequency may be reinforced through cultural evolution in these distinct populations.
We host local and national guest lecturers on a wide variety of topics related to CFI’s mission. Topics often include: science, religion, philosophy, social issues, politics, atheism, humanism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, evolution, morality and ethics, secularism, rationalism, psychology, and others.
The Wealthy Theatre Annex is two buildings down from the main Theatre Building – See Map below.
FREE Parking is available in the Wealthy Theatre lot behind the Theatre and Annex Buildings via Barth/Sigsbee or the driveway East of the Annex Building. Street parking is also free after 5pm. Handicap parking is available immediately behind the Annex Building.
After the meeting, join us at Brick Road Pizza, just down the block at 1017 Wealthy St SE in Grand Rapids, to continue the conversation, and enjoy food & drinks. See Map above or View Map on Google Maps.
CFI MI values the full participation for all attendees at our events, including individuals with disabilities, in accordance with our Event Culture and Expectations Policy. Requests for reasonable accommodation may be made by contacting the event host at least three days prior to the event.
Cost: FREE / Suggested Donation $5. Ways to Support CFI & Donate Online
About Amy Russell, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology, Grand Valley State University