Darwin Day: What bizarre biology can teach about evolution

Toxic newts capable of poisoning humans, and the snakes that eat them. Delicate beauties and nightmarish monsters from the ocean depths. Plants that make a living sucking the life out of other plants. The world is full of weirdness and this year the Crow Institute celebrates Darwin’s birthday with a guided tour of some of nature’s odder offerings. Join us for the wild ride of evolution! Learn about it all during 2012 Darwin Day programs.  Go here for more info.


Wednesday February 8

  • 8am – 4pm: Teacher Workshop, led by Kristin Jenkins and UW-Madison faculty. Faculty presentations and demonstrations of hands-on activities in the morning, followed by a teacher led afternoon discussion of how to use an evolutionary theme in the classroom. The cost for substitute teachers will be covered for participants. Lunch will be provided and participants will receive materials to take back to the classroom. Registration required; sign up here.

Thursday February 9

  • 7pm: Evolution Shorts – enjoy a collection of short clips on evolutionary biology from Sean Carroll and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and by the creators of Wallace and Gromit. Faculty from the Crow Institute will be on hand for discussion of the biological concepts and misconceptions. This event is free and open to students and the general public. Location: Union South

Friday February 10

  • 6:30 pm: Reception and Keynote lecture by Janet Voight, Field Museum: Deep sea octopuses, their origins and lives. Location: WID Town Center & Forum

Saturday February 11

  • 10am – 2pm: Tree of Life exploration stations and scavenger hunt. This activity is appropriate for all ages. Kids win prizes for completing the scavenger hunt. Location: WID Town Center
  • 10:30 am: Lecture by Edmund “Butch” Brodie, III. University of Virginia: The witches’ brew of predator-prey arms races: eye of newt, fenny snakes and resistance to a deadly poison. Location: WID Forum
  • 12:30 pm: Lecture by Chuck Davis, Harvard University: The big, the bad, and the ugly: Parasitism and the origin of the world’s largest flowers. Location: WID Forum