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Speaker Series by Semester Darwin Day 2019

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"Why Dinosaurs Matter.""Why Dinosaurs Matter."lacovara-why-dinosaurs-matter<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/KennethJLacovara.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>12:00 - 1:30 ISE Lab Room 215  </p><p>Dr. Kenneth J. Lacovara, founding dean of School of Earth & Environment at Rowan University, is world renowned for his discovery of the 65-ton titanosaurian dinosaur <em>Dreadnoughtus</em> <em>schrani</em> and his involvement in the discovery and naming of the giant sauropod dinosaur <em>Paralititan</em>. He is also founding director of the Edelman Fossil Park at Rowan, where he and his research team have uncovered scientifically significant Cretaceous-age fossils, hypothesizing that the animals were part of a mass die-off — linked perhaps to the asteroid impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs.<br><br>Lacovara is the author of <em>Why Dinosaurs Matter</em> (2017, Simon & Schuster/TED Books), for which he received a prestigious Nautilus Book Award. The topical book offers both a reminder and a warning that our place on earth is precarious and that as we move into an uncertain environmental future, it has never been more important to understand the deep past.<br><br>A two-time TED speaker, Lacovara is an elected Fellow of the Explorers Club, which selected him to receive the 2018 Explorers Club Medal, its highest honor. Past recipients of the prestigious award, which he will accept at the Club's 115th Annual Dinner in March 2019, include Jane Goodall; Thor Heyerdahl; Roald Amundsen; Neil Armstrong, Col. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., and Maj. Gen. Michael Collins for NASA; James Cameron, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Lacovara is also a Fellow of the Academy of Nature Sciences of Drexel University.</p><p>He earned his doctorate in geology from the University of Delaware.<br></p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
“Controlling evolution: the problem of drug resistance in HIV and cancer”“Controlling evolution: the problem of drug resistance in HIV and cancer”zurakowski-controlling-evolution<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/RyanZurakowski.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>1:45 - 2:15 ISE Lab Room 215 <br>Ryan Zurakowski is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, with appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.  Dr. Zurakowski’s group develops mathematical models of diseases, with a focus on HIV and cancer.  We have used the methods described above to make a number of significant contributions to the understanding of HIV disease. Using human subjects data collected by our collaborators at the IRSI-Caixa AIDS research foundation in Barcelona, Spain, we have found direct estimates of HIV drug efficacy and residual viremia, and have identified the presence of persistent, efficient, cryptic viremia in a subset of treated HIV patients with no measurable plasma virus.  Using our validated models, we have also explored optimizing treatment schedules to maximize immune responsiveness while minimizing the risk of a multi-drug resistant virus emerging.  Many of the system identification techniques we have developed for our disease system studies also have application in other fields, including guidance and tracking problems of interest to the Army Research Laboratories.</p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
“Evolution of developmental mechanisms”“Evolution of developmental mechanisms”song-evolution-of-developmental-mechanisms<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/JiaSong.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>2:15 - 2:45 ISE Lab Room 215 <br>Jia Ling ​Song's laboratory investigates the regulatory roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in early development. miRNAs are a class of non-coding RNA molecules that have recently been discovered to repress gene expressions in animal cells. miRNAs are critical for many aspects of life, including the development of an organism and physiological functions of cells and tissues.</p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
"Natural Selection and the Restoration of Nature""Natural Selection and the Restoration of Nature"tallamy-natural-selection-and-restoration-of-nature<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/DougTallamy.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>2:45 - 3:15 ISE Lab Room 215 <br>Douglas W. Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology and of biological sciences, has been named the 2018 recipient of the American Horticultural Society's B.Y. Morrison Award, which is given to an individual who advances public interest and participation in horticulture through effective and inspirational communication. Tallamy is the author of the 2009 book <em>Bringing Nature Home:</em> <em>How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants</em>, which has had widespread influence on the native plants movement in home gardening. He researches how plants that evolved elsewhere impact food webs and biodiversity.</p><p>Tallamy speaks nationwide about his concerns that the approach to gardening must change. He contends the widespread planting of ornamental plants, native to other parts of the world, is creating ecosystem-wide problems. His work has been featured/interviewed by New York Times, NPR, Associated Press, and various other outlets.</p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
"Abusing Darwin? 'Social Darwinism' before World War One""Abusing Darwin? 'Social Darwinism' before World War One"white-abusing-darwin<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/OwenWhite3.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>3:30 - 4:00 ISE Lab Room 215 ​<br>Owen White specializes in the history of modern France and the French colonial empire, with particular research interests in French West Africa and Algeria. The author of a book about the mixed-race population of French West Africa and articles on a variety of aspects of French colonialism, he has also published two edited volumes: one (with J. P. Daughton) on French missionaries, the other on social organization in modern empires. He is now completing a history of wine production in French Algeria. He received his B.A. from the University of Exeter and his doctorate from the University of Oxford.</p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
"Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression""Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression"yates-sheep-oranges-and-yeast<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/JulianYates.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>4:00 - 4:30 ISE Lab Room 215 <br>Julian Yates received his B.A. (Hons.) in English Language and Literature from St. Anne's College, Oxford University in 1990 and PhD in English Literature from UCLA in 1996. He specializes in Medieval and Renaissance British Literature, literary theory, material culture studies, and questions of ecology / environmental humanities. He is the author of some thirty five essays on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture, questions of ecology, the posthuman, and literary theory; and author or editor of four books: <em>Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance </em>(Minnesota, 2003), which was a finalist for the Modern Language Association's Best First Book Prize in 2003; <em>What's the Worst Thing You Can Do To Shakespeare</em> (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), co-authored with Richard Burt; <em>Object-Oriented Environs in Early Modern England</em> (Punctum Books, 2016), co-edited with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen; and<em> Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression</em> (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).<em> </em></p><p>His research has been supported by grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the American Philosophical Society. He is currently embarked on two projects: a book on Shakespeare's dramaturgy and contemporary ecologies of refuge titled Cosmopolitical Shakespeares; and, with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, a study of the legacies of Noah's Ark in contemporary accounts of global warming, <em>Noah's Arkive: Groundless Reading from the Beginning to the End of Time</em>.</p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
Darwin’s Puppetmasters: Viruses and the Microbes They SelectedDarwin’s Puppetmasters: Viruses and the Microbes They Selecteddarwins-puppetmasters-viruses<img alt="" src="/darwin-day-sub-site/PublishingImages/Darwin%20Day%202019/shawn_polson-246x300.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>4:30 - 5:00 ISE Lab Room 215</p><p>Dr. Polson is the Director of the Bioinformatics Core Facility at the University of Delaware's Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and faculty in the Departments of Computer and Information Sciences and Biological Sciences.  With a background in viral and microbial ecology, his laboratory designs and applies innovative tools and approaches, utilizing genomic and metagenomic technologies to answer questions in virus-microbe systems.  His work has focused on microbe-virus ecology in a number of environments including marine and aquatic ecosystems, deep sea hydrothermal vents, and organism-associated microbiomes such as oyster, coral, and dairy cattle.  </p>2019-02-11T05:00:00Z
Darwinian Revelation: A Primer to Charles Darwin's "One Long Argument" Darwinian Revelation: A Primer to Charles Darwin's "One Long Argument" costa-primer-to-charles-darwin<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/JamesTCosta.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:30 p.m. <br>Class of 1941 Lecture Room, Morris Library</p><p><em>On the Origin of Species</em> ushered in a new way of looking at the world and ourselves. </p><p>Join James T. Costa to trace the development of Charles Darwin's personal process of discovery that culminated in the <em>Origin</em>, a book he regarded as "one long argument," and discover how Darwin's approach is relevant for how we teach evolution today.</p><p>Costa is executive director of Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina, and professor of biology at Western Carolina University. He is the author of <em>The Annotated Origin</em>, an annotated facsimile 1st edition of <em>On the Origin of Species</em> designed to help readers better understand the historical context, structure and content of Darwin's masterwork.</p><p>This lecture is sponsored by the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection within the UD Library, Museums and Press; and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory. Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the UD Library, Museums and Press, will introduce Costa.</p><p>To RSVP, please visit: <a href="http://www.library.udel.edu/events/events/?id=114">www.library.udel.edu/events/events/?id=114</a>.</p>2019-02-12T05:00:00Z
“Inherit the Wind” cast and director Sanford L. Robbins“Inherit the Wind” cast and director Sanford L. Robbinssanford-inherit-the-wind<img alt="" src="/SpeakerSeriesFiles/pics/2018%20Spring/SandyRobinson.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​7:30 PM</p><p>Hartshorn Hall 118 (corner of Academy and East Park)</p><p>Sanford (Sandy) Robbins is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of the Resident Ensemble Players (REP), the professional theatre at the University of Delaware. Theatres for which he has directed include the Alley Theatre, Oregon Shakespearean Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival, and American Players Theatre, as well as multiple productions for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, where he served for several years as a resident director and remains a frequent guest director.  </p><p>Internationally, he has directed the international premieres of Sam Shepard plays for the national theatres of several foreign countries, including Buried Child for the Moscow Art Theatre Studio and the National Theatre of Cyprus.  His production of Shepard's The Tooth of Crime received the Thalia Award for Best Production in Finland, an award won the previous year by Ingmar Bergman.  </p><p>Mr. Robbins also serves professional theatres as a text and verse speaking coach for Shakespeare and other classic plays, most recently for the Alley Theatre's production of Hamlet.  He has taught acting, voice, verse speaking, and period style at Carnegie-Mellon University, Los Angeles City College, and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Mr. Robbins recently directed Cyrano de Bergerac and Lombardi for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Winter’s Tale for the Independent Shakespeare Company, November and You Can’t Take It With You at the Alley Theatre, and is the director for the REP production of Inherit the Wind.</p>2019-02-12T05:00:00Z<p>​Inherit the Wind is an American play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, which debuted in 1955. The story fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial as a means to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials. The debate over creationism versus evolution has contemporary resonance, as evidenced by the play's numerous revivals and screen adaptations decades after its initial theatrical run.  Inherit the Wind is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial, which resulted in John T. Scopes' conviction for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to a high school science class, contrary to a Tennessee state law. The role of Matthew Harrison Brady is intended to reflect the personality and beliefs of William Jennings Bryan, while that of Henry Drummond is intended to be similar to that of Clarence Darrow. Bryan and Darrow, formerly close friends, opposed one another at the Scopes trial. The character of E. K. Hornbeck is modeled on that of H. L. Mencken, who covered the trial for The Baltimore Sun, and the character of Bertram Cates corresponds to Scopes. However, the playwrights state in a note at the opening of the play that it is not meant to be a historical account, and there are numerous instances where events were substantially altered or invented. For instance, the characters of the preacher and his daughter were fictional, the townspeople were not hostile towards those who had come to Dayton for the trial, and Bryan offered to pay Scopes' fine if he was convicted. Bryan did die shortly after the trial, but it happened five days later in his sleep. Political commentator Steve Benen said of the play's inaccuracies: "Scopes issued no plea for empathy, there was no fiancee and the real Scopes was never arrested. In fact, the popular film that was nominated for four Academy Awards and has helped shape the American understanding of the 'Scopes Monkey Trial' for decades is an inadequate reflection of history." Lawrence explained in a 1996 interview that the drama's purpose was to criticize the then-current state of McCarthyism. The play was also intended to defend intellectual freedom. According to Lawrence, "we used the teaching of evolution as a parable, a metaphor for any kind of mind control [...] It's not about science versus religion. It's about the right to think."</p>

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