Join us all week, February 11-16, 2013 as the Paleontological Research Institution celebrates its annual Darwin Days with a full schedule of events commemorating Charles Darwin with this years’ theme: Evolution and Invasive Species. When one hears the words “invasive species” in the news today, it is usually referring to wild plants or animals that humans have introduced (accidentally or on purpose) to an area where they did not previously live. Recent examples from the Northeastern US include the emerald ash borer (a beetle), Hydrilla (an alga), and snakehead (a fish). A surprising number of the plants and animals we see every day—from slugs to starlings—are not native to New York State. These and many other invasive species can cause enormous environmental and economic damage. But invasive species have happened throughout Earth’s history, and have altered the course of evolution. What do such invasions mean for evolution? What can the study of evolution tell us that might help mitigate or prevent the damage they cause?
Staff at the Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth will answer these questions and others regarding evolution and invasive species in this year’s Darwin Days. This year events include a keynote address from Dr. Alycia Stigall, an expert in evolutionary paleobiology from Ohio University, entitled “Invasive species, fossils, and evolution,” and panels discussing terrestrial, aquatic, and fossil invasives. There will also be a Family Day at the Cayuga Nature Center with fun and exciting activities about invasives and a Trivia Night at the Big Red Barn on the Cornell campus. For more information about speakers and a full schedule of events, visit museumoftheearth.org/darwindays.
Darwin Days 2013 runs February 11-16, 2013.Support is provided by Cornell University, The Kiplinger Foundation, and the Derek and Leora Kaufman Charitable Fund.