How are humans like lichens? Find out at Wednesday Night @ the Lab

Scott Gilbert, a professor of biology at Swarthmore College noted for using stories, images and analogies to get scientific points across, will be the featured speaker at this week’s Wednesday Nite @ the Lab event. His talk, titled “We are All Lichens: Symbiosis and the Restructuring of Individuality,” will take place at 7 p.m. in room 1111 of the Genetics-Biotechnology Center Building, 425 Henry Mall.

During the talk, Gilbert will re-evaluate the traditional view of animals as “individuals.” He notes that our cells are vastly outnumbered by the essential microbes living in our gut, and asks whether we are as reliant on symbiosis as the lichen, the familiar collaboration between fungi and algae?

Gilbert’s visit is sponsored by the Anonymous Fund, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.

For more information about Gilbert’s visit, including details about a second free, public talk, read this UW-Madison news release.