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February 12 marks the 208th birthday of Charles Darwin, the biologist who shaped the way scientists study life on earth. Students at UT will honor his birthday with Darwin Day, a celebration that includes a series of a paleontology-themed events.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Darwin Day at UT, there will be an evolution and science parade at noon on Monday, February 13, in front of Ayres Hall. All scientists and science enthusiasts are encouraged to attend.

Stacey D. Smith, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will give the Darwin Day keynote address about plant adaptation. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, February 13, in the Cox Memorial Auditorium of Alumni Memorial Building.

Darwin himself was fascinated with plants and floral forms. Smith will take the audience through the complex and captivating history of flower evolution, from the incorporation of photosynthesizing bacteria—setting the stage for plant evolution—to how genes from these bacteria have come to be used in the coloration and scent of flowers.  

Admittance is free, with donations accepted for future science outreach events.

The goal of Darwin Day is to promote the understanding of evolution and its importance as a unifying concept in biology. For more information about Darwin Day events, visit the website.

Darwin Day at UT is sponsored by the Student Programming and Allocation Committee; the Ready for the World Foundation; the Dry Dredgers; the Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society; 90.3 the Rock WUTK; the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS); the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Psychology, Theatre, Religious Studies, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, and Entomology; the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; and the College of Arts and Sciences.


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