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Spring 2021

Evolution @ Vanderbilt logo including the words "Seminar Series"

The Evolution@Vanderbilt Seminar Series is held online via Zoom on Wednesdays at 3.10pm. Immediately following each seminar (4.15-5.00pm), we are hosting a virtual reception. This reception is a traditional zoom gathering where all are welcome. To register for a talk, please follow the instructions posted (typically a week before each talk) at @EvolutionVU. To participate at our receptions, please send an email to and we will add you to our e-mailing list. For past talks, please check out our YouTube channel.

Spring 2021 Schedule




January 13

EVOST Book Club Discussion: Angela Saini, Independent Science Journalist and Author

Superior: The Return Of Race Science

January 19

Sergio Pena, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Evolution and Genetic Formation of Brazilians (watch)

January 27

Jada Benn-Torres, Vanderbilt University & Gabriel A. Torres Colón, Vanderbilt University

Genetic Ancestry: Our Stories, Our Past (watch)

February 3

Michael P. Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University & Jonathan M. Gilligan, Vanderbilt University

The Role of Private Climate Governance in the Biden Era (watch)

February 10

Darwin Day Speaker: Sean B. Carroll, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Maryland

A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You (watch)

February 17

T. A. McDonald, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The Broader Autism Phenotype Constellations-Disability Matrix Paradigm: A unifying model to explain the nature and increased prevalence of autism based on genetics, assortative mating, and developmental plasticity

February 24

Kay Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Recycling and the Fossil Record: A Unifying Concept for Ecology and Paleobiology

March 3

Stephanie Birnbaum, Vanderbilt University

Nora Schulz, Vanderbilt University

Interactive effects of pesticides, pathogens, and resistance in a stored grain pest

The impact of coinfection on apparent competition

March 10

Julie Allen, University of Nevada, Reno

Using bioinformatics and data integration to understand repeat patterns of evolution in avian chewing lice

March 17

Spring Break

March 24

Michael Archer, University of New South Wales, Australia

Paleoconservation: Learning from the past, to understand the present, to better conserve the future

March 31

Laura R. Novick, Vanderbilt University

Why psychology matters for biology education: Perceptual grouping, evolutionary misconceptions, and reasoning from cladograms

April 7

Yan Yan, Vanderbilt University

Noah Bradley, Vanderbilt University

The intertwined immune and circulatory systems of insects

Distribution of the superfamily DNA Glycosylase AlkZ in Streptomyces gene clusters

April 14

Michael Greshko, National Geographic


April 21, 12:00pm

Earth Day 2021 Speaker: Carlos Nombre, University of São Paulo

The Amazon near a Tipping Point. The Urgent Need for a Novel Standing Forest Bioeconomy

May 19

EVOST Book Club Discussion: Mohamed Noor, Duke University

What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds