New York University will host David Kingsley, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford University, for “Fishing for the Secrets of Vertebrate Evolution,” its annual Darwin Lecture, on Friday, Feb. 23.

Stanford's David Kingsley
NYU will host David Kingsley, above, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford University, for “Fishing for the Secrets of Vertebrate Evolution,” its annual Darwin Lecture, on Friday, Feb. 23. Steve Fisch/Stanford School of Medicine

New York University will host David Kingsley, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford University, for “Fishing for the Secrets of Vertebrate Evolution,” its annual Darwin Lecture, on Friday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m., at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology Auditorium (12 Waverly Place, betw. Greene and Mercer Sts.).
 
Kingsley will focus on several key questions. How do new traits evolve in nature? Can we find particular genes and mutations that underlie dramatic differences in colors, or skeletal structures, or the nervous system in wild species? Are evolutionary mechanisms predictable, or are there many different ways of evolving new traits? For many years, the answers to such questions were largely unknown. However, recently, new methods have begun to reveal the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie evolutionary change in natural species.

Kingsley will describe the insights that have come from his pioneering genetic and genomic studies of very young fish species that adapted to many new environments around the world. He will also illustrate how the lessons learned from the fish system can also be applied to other organisms, including studies of modern human variation, and the search for key mutations contributing to the unique traits and capabilities that have evolved in the human lineage.

The talk will be introduced by NYU’s Dean for Science Michael Purugganan and NYU Biology Professor Matthew Rockman.

The lecture is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the university’s Dean for Science, the Biology Department, and the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, email biology@nyu.edu or call 212.998.8209. Subways: N/R [8th St.], 6 [Astor Pl.]

EDITOR’S NOTE:
New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology
The faculty at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology are integrating vast amounts of genomic data into systems and networks to predictively model the regulatory mechanisms controlling life, at the level of single cells, tissues, and across the six kingdoms of life. These studies, which span the genomes of a range of model organisms from bacteria to animals and plants, have implications for human health and agriculture. Potential applications include the development of new diagnostics for in vitro fertilization, treatment of disease states such as malaria, and alterations of organisms for practical gain, such as biofuels or nitrogen-use efficiency. The research involves the combined skills of genomicists, bioinformaticians, systematists, and evolutionary biologists all working together in signature open plan “loft” laboratories in a new 70,000-square- foot, state-of-the-art Genome Center Science building located at the heart of NYU’s Washington Square campus.