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Evolutionary Biologists to Speak at UW Sept. 27

September 24, 2012 — Two of the world’s leading evolutionary researchers, Peter and Rosemary Grant, will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the University of Wyoming Berry Center auditorium.

They will discuss “Evolution of Darwin’s Finches.” UW Zoology Professor Craig Benkman will host their presentation as part of the L. Floyd Clarke Memorial Lecture Series.

The Grants’ research on evolution in the Galapagos Islands, where they have spent six months of every year since 1973, is well-known. Capturing, tagging and taking blood samples of the finches on the island of Daphne Major, the two Princeton University emeritus professors continue the evolutionary work of Charles Darwin in the place that inspired his theory of evolution.

"The Grants' three-year study of the evolution of Galapagos Island finches and their adaptive responses to environmental change is one of the classic studies in biology,” says Scott Seville, zoologist and UW Outreach School associate dean. “Their work has been featured in many documentaries and was the focus of the Pulitzer prize-winning book ‘Beak of the Finch’ by Jonathan Wiener."

In 2008, the Grants were among 13 recipients of the prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal, which is bestowed every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London. They received the Kyoto Prize in basic sciences, an international award honoring significant contributions to scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind. They have written numerous articles and books on their discoveries.

For more information, call (307) 766-5627.

Peter and Rosemary Grant will discuss their research of the evolution of Galapagos Island finches. (Princeton University)

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