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Darwin Day Updates

February 12, 2015 is DARWIN DAY!  

Darwin Day 2015: Islands and Isolation

Schedule of Events

10:00 am – Noon       Evolution Education Forum (1360 Biotechnology/Genetics Building)

Faculty, students and staff from UW-Madison will conference with high school and middle school teachers to discuss key issues in evolution education. Topics include assessing the need for professional development, effectiveness of different forms of training opportunities, current practices in high school and middle school evolution education, and how UW-Madison can help meet the needs of evolution educators across Wisconsin.

Noon – 1:00 pm         “Slowly, slowly, slowly said the moth: a syndrome of mutualism drives the lifestyle of a sloth”, Jonathan Pauli (Evolution Seminar Series, 1360 Biotechnology/Genetics Building)

Dr. Jonathan Pauli, Assistant Professor, UW-Madison, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, studies the response of mammal populations and communities to human disturbances, and how it relates to effective conservation strategies, using a combination of traditional, molecular and computational approaches.

2:30 pm – 5:15 pm     Tree of Life Activity (Discovery Building, Town Center)

This event features exploration stations throughout the Towne Center where K-12 students and their families engage in hands-on activities related to different aspects of evolution. As they visit each station, participants get a stamp on the corresponding branch of a Tree of Life scorecard, and completed cards are eligible to win raffle prizes.

5:45 pm – 6:45 pm     “Madagascar’s lemurs as a unique evolutionary experiment”; Anne Yoder, Keynote Presentation (Discovery Building, DeLuca Forum) made possible with support from the Lectures Committee

Dr. Anne Yoder is a Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. Her research focuses on understanding how the geological history and geographic isolation of the island led to the astounding diversity of plants and animals on Madagascar.  Dr. Yoder is also the Director of the acclaimed Duke Lemur Center, dedicated to interdisciplinary research and conservation of lemurs.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm     Movie Night: “Jurassic Park” (Union South, Marquee Theatre)

In Steven Spielberg’s now classic 1993 science fiction film based on a Michael Crichton novel, a team of scientists visit a remote island populated with genetically engineered living dinosaurs. With “Jurassic Park 4” scheduled for release in June 2015, this is a great time to revisit the original.

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm   Post-Movie Discussion (Union South, The Sett)

After the movie, we encourage viewers to join us to talk about the quality of the science behind the story and the ethical considerations it raises.


Read more about our last Darwin Day Celebration:

Darwin Day 2014: Alien Invasions - Evolution of Real Life Bodysnatchers

The 2014 Darwin Day will explore the evolution of parasites - organisms that have evolved to invade other organisms' bodies.  The events include an exploration of parasites in the movies, three invited speakers, known for their exciting science and ability to engage the public, and a wide array of family-friendly interactive booths presented by members of the UW-Madison science community.

February 6-8, 2014 (Discovery Building and Union South; UW-Madison)

  • Feb 6. 7pm (Marquee Theatre, Union South): Evolution Movie Night / Hybrid Cinema
    • Hybrid Cinema: Parasites in the Movies.  Jim Healy (Director, UW Cinematheque) & David Krakauer (Director, Wisconsin Institute for DIscovery)
  • Feb 7, 7pm (De Luca Forum, Discovery Building)
    • Invasion of the Parasites: Birds! Chris Balakrishnan (East Carolina University)
  • Feb 8, 10-2 (Town Center, Discovery Building)
    • Tree of Life - Family-friendly, interactive science booths
  • Feb B, 2:15 (De Luca Forum, Discovery Building)
    • Viruses, Corals, and the Origin of the Immune System (Forest Rohwer, San Diego State University)
  • Feb 8, 3:30 (De Luca Forum, Discovery Building)
    • Denizens of the Deep Revealed: A Global Look at Shark and Ray Tapeworms.  (Janine Caira, University of Connecticut)

For more information contact Alison Scott

In addition to the departments and other units that are annual supporters of the Crow Institute (listed here), the following departments have kindly provided financial support for Darwin Day 2014: Agronomy, Anthropology, Geoscience, and an anonymous Darwin admirer.


Previous Darwin Day events

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