Darwin Day, EEB’s annual celebration of all things biology is being held in Texas A&M’s VENI Building on February 8, 2019.
This free, interactive, educational event will feature live animals, museum specimens, science demonstrations, games, prizes, cupcakes, art contests for children and adults, and more!
Come and celebrate biology with us! Darwin Day is a hands-on science event for kids and adults showcasing evolutionary research and biodiversity conservation initiatives at Texas A&M University and beyond. Interact with live snakes, tortoises, bats, skunks, fish, owls and other critters large and small.
Learn about local plants and inspect museum specimens. In addition to the many interactive booths, children can also participate in educational games and art contests for prizes. Adults are invited to display their own natural history themed art work (of any medium) in a separate art contest.
Dr. Gil Rosenthal, Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University, will be giving the keynote address titled Darwin’s Lessons for 2019.
Dr. Rosenthal, a self-described “fish nerd,” received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University (1993) and his PhD from the University of Texas (2000) followed by postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego, and a faculty appointment at Boston University. In 2005, he co-founded the CICHAZ field station in central Mexico, which he continues to co-direct. That same year, he started on the faculty at Texas A&M University, where he developed the university’s PhD program in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.
He studies the evolution and implications of mate choice in hybridizing swordtail fishes. To untangle how sexual desires shape the origin and fate of species, he pairs lab studies with in-the-field experiments in Mexico. Using computational analyses of whole genomes and interdisciplinary studies of behavior mechanisms, his students and research group work to understand the evolutionary consequences of mating decisions. He is the author of a comprehensive survey of mate choice in everything from microbes to humans, a recent Fulbright Fellow, and Chair of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.
Interactive Exhibits and Booths
Geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said “Nothing in biology makes sense, but in the light of evolution.” The Tree of Life has come to symbolize the common origin of all life forms on earth, more than any other representation. This Darwin Day, we invite you to take a jaunt across the tree of life, through the research of Texas A&M University researchers who study all forms of life from Archaea to Zooplankton. Visitors can explore themes from biodiversity, natural selection, adaptation, and domestication, and see the various manifestations of modern biological research. In addition to exploring these booths, this will be a great opportunity to meet real scientists, and understand what they do, how they do it, and how it benefits the world.
Image at right is Darwin’s own representation of the tree of life, from the Origin of Species 1858.
“Endless Forms” – art exhibit and competition
The 2019 Darwin Day event will host an art contest for kids and grown ups. For the kids, the art contest will be on-site and all raw materials will be provided. Entries can be any art work that relates to the natural world and biodiversity. This will be a great opportunity for young, budding naturalists to showcase their skills. Winners will be selected on the hour, every hour until end of the event at 8pm.
Grown-ups can also participate in a separate art contest by bringing biology-themed artwork for display. Photographs, sketches, paintings, papier mâché or other expressions are welcome. Supplies for displaying your artwork will be provided by event organizers. Grown-ups will not be able to participate in the on-site art contest, which is open only to kids.