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Biology Department Celebrating Darwin Day

Feb 11, 2015 |

U.Va.’s Department of Biology is hosting a series of public events Friday afternoon and early evening as part of its annual celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday.

19th Century Naturalist Charles Darwin
Elliot and Fry: American Museum of Natural History

Supported by public outreach funds from the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the third-annual Darwin Day will feature poster sessions about the scientific contributions of the English naturalist as well as presentations on the research into evolution and biodiversity currently taking place at the University of Virginia.

University of North Carolina professor David Pfennig will deliver this year’s Darwin Day public lecture on the evolution of diversity: “The Flexible Organism: Developmental Plasticity and the Origins of Diversity.”

Co-author of the book Evolution’s Wedge: Competition and the Origins of Diversity, Pfennig researches the interplay among evolution, ecology, and development, studying a wide range of diverse systems, from toads to snakes to viruses. His research has been featured on The National Geographic Channel, on the PBS series “Nature” and in The New York Times, Newsweek, National Geographic and Scientific American,  among other publications.

Visitors will be invited to participate in hands-on demonstrations in Gilmer Hall and to tour the greenhouse. A birthday party celebrating Darwin’s 206th birthday – he was born Feb. 12, 1809 – will feature a Darwin costume contest, with “evolution-related” prizes.

U.Va. undergraduate students also can learn about summer research opportunities in the department’s labs and at two U.Va. field stations: Mountain Lake Biological Station and Blandy Experimental Farm.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. at Scott Stadium.

For more information about Darwin Day visit here:


UVA Darwin Day schedule of events,

When: 4-7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13

Where: Gilmer Hall (485 McCormick Road, U.Va. Central Grounds)

4 p.m. – Poster Session, Room 290

5:30 p.m.: Birthday celebration, Room 190

6 p.m.: Public lecture by UNC professor David Pfennig, Room 190

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