The University of Virginia’s Department of Biology will host a Charles Darwin birthday celebration Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. in Gilmer Hall. The event will feature tours, poster sessions, a lecture by Harvard University biologist Scott Edwards and a reception.
Darwin was actually born on Feb. 12, 1809.
An open house and poster session with snacks will begin at 4 p.m. Visitors can tour evolutionary biology labs, where faculty, graduate and undergraduate students will explain and showcase their latest research. Posters will explain how Darwin’s ideas inspire the ongoing investigations of U.Va. scientists. Visitors will see assorted organisms and witness hands-on experiment demonstrations.
At 5:30 p.m., Edwards will give a talk on the evolution of birds, “Genomes, Feathers and Flight.” His research unites genomics and natural history to understanding the origins of biodiversity in birds. He will address how birds evolved from common reptilian ancestors, the factors that have driven the proliferation and vast diversity of bird species, and how birds and their pathogens are locked in an evolutionary arms race. Edwards will speak in room 130 of Gilmer Hall.
A reception and birthday celebration, complete with cake, light food and drinks, will follow at 6:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. at Scott Stadium. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences funded the event.