Paul C. Mundinger Distinguished Lectureship

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Date(s) - 03/12/2018
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, Cornell University


Evolution of Darwin’s Finches: Integrating Behavior, Ecology, and Genetics

Dr. Rosemary Grant, Princeton University

Dr. Rosemary Grant is a hero to generations of students and scientists in the field of evolution. Her work (along with husband Peter) on the finches of the Galapagos Islands provided one of the first and clearest demonstrations of natural selection occurring in real time, and is a foundational example for this subject in every high school and college biology classroom. Featured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Beak of the Finch, she showed that bill size in different populations of finches can change over very short periods—as little as two years—driven by environmental conditions and food availability. The findings turned the world of evolutionary biology on its head, as such changes were previously thought to take hundreds or even thousands of years. In her talk, Rosemary will cover many of the highlights from her work on Darwin’s Finches and discuss the complementary insights she has gained from decades of exploring their behavior, ecology, evolution, and genetics.