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April 15: Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates Lecture

Michael Donoghue, G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will present the keynote address, “Charles Darwin, the Tree of Life, and the Future of Biodiversity,” for the 61st annual Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Associates Lecture on April 15.

The lecture in the Medical Historical Library of Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street will begin at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Beaumont Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Yale is marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of his publication of The Origin of Species with campus-wide programs and events. In this lecture, focusing on Darwin’s early theories of evolution and the first evolutionary “tree,” Donoghue will bring perspectives on evolutionary biology up-to-date.

Donoghue’s own work focuses on plant diversity and evolution, particularly the origin and early evolution of flowering plants. Research in his laboratory concentrates on understanding the Tree of Life and the phylogeny — or development of a species over time — of plants. He has also been a leader in the national and international movement to reconstruct the entire Tree of Life.

Donoghue, who assumed the newly created position of Vice President for West Campus Planning and Program Development last year, joined the Yale faculty in 2000. He served as chair of Yale’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from 2001-2002 and as director of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History from 2003-2008. Since earning his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard, he has published over 180 scientific papers, co-authored a textbook on plant diversity, and co-edited the book Assembling the Tree of Life.

Additionally, on display at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library through April 17, a rare book exhibit surveys the scientific history of evolution by natural selection from seventeenth century natural theology to the integration of natural selection and Mendelian genetics in the “modern synthesis” of the 1940s. The exhibit is free and open to the public in the Medical Library Rotunda, at 333 Cedar Street.

Other campus-wide celebrations and events are listed on the Yale Celebrates Darwin website http://opa.yale.edu/sp/darwin/ .