Special symposium addresses practical applications of evolution

Sept. 14, 2010

by Jill Sakai

The Center of Rapid Evolution (CORE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is sponsoring a special event to foster discussion and outreach about how the science of evolution applies to real-world problems.

The Special Symposium on Applied Evolution will be held Friday-Saturday, Oct. 1-2, in Ebling Auditorium in the Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive, on the UW-Madison campus. The events include a keynote address on rapid evolution and lectures and panel discussions on the role evolution can play in everyday life.

"The symposium builds on the broad expertise CORE and UW-Madison offer in the study of rapid and applied evolution. We hope to inform the public on how evolutionary insights are critical for addressing serious problems in conservation, medicine and agriculture," says CORE director Carol Lee, a UW-Madison zoology professor.

The schedule of events is the following:

  • Friday, Oct. 1

3:30-4:30 p.m. Keynote address: "The dynamics of phenotypic and genomic evolution during a 50,000 generation experiment with E. coli," Richard Lenski, Michigan State University

4:45-5:45 p.m. Open discussion of UW-Madison as a leader in the study of rapid evolution, followed by a reception

  • Saturday, Oct. 2

1-4 p.m. UW-Madison faculty lectures

Carol Lee "Rapid evolution of freshwater invaders and the pathogens they carry"

Irwin Goldman "Evolution you can taste: crop domestication and breeding for a hungry planet"

Johanne Brunet "Escape and establishment of genetically modified organisms"

Tony Goldberg "West Nile virus in Chicago: the evolution of a virus in real time with real-world consequences"

Nicole Perna "Friends and enemies: evolution of bacterial pathogen and nonpathogen genomes"

Mark Berres "Where did the chicken come from, and where is it going?"

4-5 p.m. Panel discussion on "How is evolution useful in daily life?"

All events are free and open to the public. The symposium is co-sponsored by the James F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Department of Zoology,  Department of Botany and the Laboratory of Genetics.