Iowa City Darwin Day Events

Sharon DeWitte

Sharon DeWitte

Sharon DeWitte is a biological anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. Dr. DeWitte studies infectious disease through the lenses of bioanthropology, paleodemography and paleoepidemiology. An expert on historical disease outbreaks, Dr. DeWitte’s research on the Black Death (the bubonic plague in medieval Europe) has been highlighted in the New York Times, American Scientist, and Time Magazine, and in a TED educational video.

Ana Duggan

Ana Duggan

Ana Duggan’s Interests are broadly encompassed by molecular anthropology, evolution and population genetics, by the historical inferences we can make from genetic analyses. Her current research interests involve using ancient DNA studies to reconstruct the genome of historical pathogens to examine the evolution and epidemiology of disease in ancient human populations as well as the population history of Native American groups from Canada’s East Coast.

Jeanne Serb

Jeanne Serb

Jeanne Serb is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology and Director of the Office of Biotechnology at Iowa State University. Dr. Serb is broadly interested in the origins of biological diversity, with a particular interest in the evolution of eyes. Her lab takes a multidisciplinary approach to research, using data that includes behavioral assays, morphological measurements, genome analysis, and phylogenetic inference.

Nicholas Strausfeld

Nicholas Strausfeld

Nicholas Strausfeld is Regents Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona. Dr. Strausfeld studies the evolution of the brain and visual system, using insects both as model systems and as examples of the diversity of and complexity of neural architecture. The author of more than 200 articles and several books, Dr. Strausfeld is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Schedule of Events

February 22nd - 23rd, 2019

(all events free and open to the public)
Talks by Marc Lipsitch have been canceled due to a family illness

Friday, February 22

Kollros Auditorium, Biology Building East




Health and Survival in the Context of Medieval Mortality Crises. Sharon DeWitte


In Crypts and Cabinets: A Molecular Study of Smallpox. Ana Duggan




Evolutionary Stability, the Apical Brain Enigma, and Exuberant Divergence. Nicholas Strausfeld

Saturday, February 23

Macbride Auditorium, MacBride Hall


Coffee and pastries


Odd Animal Eyes: Insights into Evolution and Biotechnology. Jeanne Serb


Time Traveling: What Our Brains Share with the Brains of Beetles. Nicholas Strausfeld


Ancient DNA and Historical Disease. Ana Duggan


Past and Present Emerging Infectious Diseases. Sharon DeWitte


Darwin’s Birthday Party in the Hageboeck Hall of Birds


Screening of the movie Contagion and discussion with Sharon DeWitte at FilmScene.