Darwin Day 2018
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Darwin Day 2018: Charles Darwin, Evolution, and Finches

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 7 p.m.

Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom
Duquesne Power Center

Presented by:

Rosemary and Peter Grant Emeritus
Professors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University

Rosemary and Peter GrantJoin Drs. Rosemary and Peter Grant as they discuss the progress that has been made in our understanding of speciation with special reference to the young radiation of Darwin's Finches of the Galápagos Islands, drawing on the results of their long-term field study of finch populations spanning several decades, combined with laboratory investigations of the molecular genetic basis of beak development.

In the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin established the scientific basis for understanding how evolution occurs by natural selection. To explain how species form, he envisioned a three-step process: colonization, involving the expansion of a population into a new environment; divergence, when populations become adapted to novel environmental conditions through natural selection; and finally, the formation of a barrier to interbreeding between divergent lineages. He showed characteristic insight by suggesting that investigations of what we now call, "very young adaptive radiations" might provide windows through which we can view the processes involved. Since Darwin's time, insights from the fields of genetics, behavior and ecology have continued to illuminate how and why species evolve. In this talk, we will discuss the progress that has been made in our understanding of speciation with special reference to the young radiation of Darwin's Finches. We draw upon the results of a long-term field study of finch populations spanning several decades, combined with laboratory investigations of the molecular genetic basis of beak development.

Download the Darwin Day Poster

Free and open to the public with a reception to follow.
Co-sponsored by the Dean's Office of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, the National Aviary, and the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.


About Darwin Day 2018

Darwin Day is Duquesne's annual international celebration of the life and work of Charles Darwin. The event emphasizes the importance of science education in today's world, and the impact that evolutionary biology has on many aspects of our lives.


Contact Us

For more information about Darwin Day 2018, contact us at biology@duq.edu.


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