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The Darwin Seminars

The Department of Biological Sciences is hosting a series of seminars on the work of Charles Darwin to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of his birth, and the 150th Anniversary of the publication of "On the Origin of Species". The series includes 10 seminars all of which are free of charge and open to members of the public.

In the 150 years following the publication of “On the Origin of Species”, Darwin’s evolutionary theory has become fundamental to our understanding of biology at all levels, from ecosystems to molecules. Indeed, the theory of evolution is arguably the most prominent and far-reaching theory in the whole of science.

The theory has altered human perception of the natural world in a profound way. For years, the natural world was seen as static and created, but Darwin’s work, coupled with the discovery of ancient fossils and a greater understanding of the geological age of the earth, challenged this view. Now the theory of evolution is almost universally accepted, and informs the vast majority of biological thinking.

Following on from the successful series of Darwin Seminars held in the spring term led by speakers from around the world a further ten Darwin Seminars have been organised for the autumn term; the first of these was led by Warwick academic Prof Georgy Koentges on October 9th and explored the evolution of neck and shoulder development.

Each of the following seminars will take place at 12.45pm in room GLT1 (Gibbet Hill). The seminars will last for approximately 1 hour. They are free, and all are welcome to attend.




16 October

William Amos (Cambridge)

The story of whales: how did evolution achieve so much so fast?

23 October

Richard Ffrench-Constant (Exeter)

Molecular basis of natural selection in insects: sex, drugs and molecular biology

30 October

John Parker (Cambridge)

Henslow legacy: Darwin's inheritance

6 November

Peter Holland FRS (Oxford)

Genes, genomes and animal evolution

13 November

Mark Jobling (Leicester)

Y chromosomes and human evolution

20 November

Clive Gamble (Royal Holloway)

Evolution of the human social mind

27 November

John Allen (Queen Mary)

The photosynthetic origin of free oxygen

4 December

Bambos Kyriacou (Leicester)

Evolution of circadian rhythms

11 December

Michael Akam FRS (Cambridge)

Arthropods and the invasion of the land

Also to coincide with the Darwin 200 programme of celebrations and events, A Duck for Mr Darwin, a free exhibition featuring sculpture, drawing, painting, film and installation, focussing on the legacy of Charles Darwin's ideas is being held in the Mead Gallery at Warwick Arts Centre from 10 Oct - 12 Dec 2009. For further information see the Warwick Arts Centre website.


See the Biological Science website for further information.

See also

Exhibition: The Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
10 Oct - 12 Dec 2009
A Duck, For Mr Darwin