Snider Lecture

Peter and Rosemary Grant

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Instructional Centre, Room 140
University of Toronto Mississauga (MAP)

Join U of T honorary degree recipients and biology heroes, Professors B. Rosemary and Peter R. Grant, at the 2017 Snider Lecture as they share the results of decades of field work on Darwin's finches on the Galápagos Islands.

Recognized throughout the scientific community, the Grants were awarded the Kyoto Prize in 2009 for their remarkable contributions to the sciences. In addition to their research expanding our understanding of evolution, the Grants' teaching and mentorship have — and will — continue to inspire generations of scientists to come.

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Register online by Sunday, June 4, 2017 to attend in person or watch the live webcast. Seats are limited.

Complimentary parking in lot P9 for the duration of the event.

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Please contact us if you require information in an alternate format, or if any other arrangements can make this event accessible to you.

Synopsis

In Search of the Causes of Evolution

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.