Award-winning ecologist to present 2012 Life Sciences Lecture ‘Is Mother Nature Short Sighted?’

April 17, 2012

Hanna Kokko, laureate fellow at Australian National University, will present “Is Mother Nature Shortsighted?” for the 2012 Jack and Pat Bryan Life Sciences Lecture at Syracuse University. The lecture, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 1, in the Lundgren Room (106) of the Life Sciences Complex, is the keynote presentation for the second annual Life Sciences Symposium. The symposium will continue with a graduate-student poster session and luncheon reception in the Life Sciences Complex Atrium directly following the lecture.

Hanna KokkoKokko will also present a seminar, “Back to the Basics in Sexual Selection Theory,” at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 30 in the Lundgren Room. Both lectures are free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU’s paid lots. The lectures are co-presented by the Biology Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) and the Department of Biology in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate students who would like to present a poster should email Elizabeth Droge-Young and complete the online registration form. Abstracts are due by April 20.

Kokko is the recipient of the 2010 Per Brinck Oikos Award, presented annually to a world-leading ecologist. She received the award in recognition of her efforts to make ecologists understand the importance of evolution and evolutionary biologists consider the population dynamic feedback inherent in evolutionary processes. She also has a longstanding interest in making mathematical and theoretical work more palatable to empirically oriented biologists.

A recipient of the British Ecological Society’s Founders Prize, Kokko is the author of a textbook, “Modelling for Field Biologists and Other Interesting People” (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Her research focuses on sexual selection and intraspecific conflict and related topics, including conservation consequences of such conflict. She has a particular interest in understanding why evolution does not always lead to outcomes that benefit populations. Prior to her appointment as an Australian laureate fellow, she was a professor of evolution at Helsinki University, Finland.

The lecture is made possible by a generous gift from Pat Bryan in memory of her husband, Jack, a longtime member of the department’s faculty who was deeply committed to graduate education and research.