Barbara McClintock Life Sciences Lecture Series

Past Speakers

2020–2021

Neelima Sinha, University of California, Davis
Professor, Department of Plant Biology
Lecture Title: The Arms Race Between the Parasite Cuscuta and its Tomato Host
Hosts: Adrienne Roeder, Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology/School of Integrative Plant Science. and Mariana Wolfner, Molecular Biology and Genetics

Li-Huei Tsai, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Lecture Title: Network Level Approaches to Studying Alzheimer’s Disease
Hosts: Paul Soloway, Biomedical Sciences, and Chris Xu, Applied and Engineering Physics

Ruth Defries, Columbia University
Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
Lecture Title: Nature's Secrets for Navigating Uncertain Times
Hosts: Christy Goodale, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Peter Hess, Biology and Environmental Engineering

Lydia M. Contreras, The University of Texas at Austin
Associate Professor, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Lecture Title: New Insights into Small RNAs in Bacteria and their Big Regulatory Networks
Hosts: Matt DeLisa, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Kerstin Lindblad Toh, Uppsala University
Professor, Department of Comparative Genomics
Lecture Title: Understanding Genome Evolution and Disease using Comparative Genetics and Genomics
Hosts: Charles Danko, Baker Institute for Animal Health, and Kelly Hume, Clinical Sciences

2019–2020


Elliot Meyerowitz, California Institute of Technology
George W. Beadle Professor of Biology; ​Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division of Biology
Lecture Title: Mechanical Feedbacks in Plant Morphogenesis
Hosts: Michael J. Scanlon, Plant Biology, and Daniel A. Barbash, Molecular Biology and Genetics

Benjamin Z. Houlton, University of California, Davis
Director and Professor, Muir Institute and Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
Title: Planet Rock: Ecosystems, Food, and Negative Carbon Emissions
Hosts: Jed P. Sparks, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Timothy J. Fahey, Natural Resources; Robert W. Howarth, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and Christine L. Goodale, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Mina Bissell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Distinguished Scientist, Biological Systems and Engineering Division
Title: Why Don’t We Get More Cancer? The Critical Role of Extracellular Matrix and Microenvironment in Malignancy and Dormancy
Hosts: Claudia Fischbach-Teschl, Biomedical Engineering; Richard Cerione, Molecular Medicine/Chemistry and Chemical Biology; and Matthew Paszek, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

2018–2019


Adrian Krainer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
St. Giles Foundation Professor of Neuroscience
Lecture Title: Antisense Therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Harnessing the Power of a Backup Gene
Hosts: Eric Alani, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Praveen Sethupathy, Biomedical Sciences

Kay Holekamp, Michigan State University
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Integrative Biology
Lecture Title: Selective Forces Shaping the Evolution of Intelligence
Hosts: Kelly Zamudio, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Michael Sheehan, Neurobiology and Behavior; Michael Webster, Neurobiology and Behavior; and Robert Raguso, Neurobiology and Behavior

Brendan Bohannan, University of Oregon
Alec & Kay Keith Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
Lecture Title: The Ecology and Evolution of Host-Associated Microbiomes
Hosts: Angela Douglas, Entomology; Ilana Brito, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering; and Steven Ellner, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2017–2018


Joseph Henrich, Harvard University
Professor, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology
Lecture Title: The Secret of Our Success: How Evolution is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species and Making Us Smart 
Hosts: Bernd Blossey, Natural Resources, and Thomas Seeley, Neurobiology and Behavior

Jo Handelsman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vilas Research Professor/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Lecture Title: Microbiomes: From the White House to the Lab
Hosts: Nicholas Buchon, Entomology, and Brian Lazzaro, Entomology/Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease

Steve Henikoff, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Professor/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Lecture Title: Genome-Wide Mapping of Protein-DNA Interaction Dynamics
Hosts: John Lis, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Charles Danko, Biomedical Sciences/Baker Institute for Animal Health

Claude Desplan, New York University
Silver Professor/Professor of Biology and Neural Science
Lecture Title: Temporal and Spatial Patterning to Generate Neural Diversity
Hosts: Nilay Yapici, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Mariana Wolfner, Molecular Biology and Genetics

2016–2017


Judith Bronstein, University of Arizona
University Distinguished Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Lecture Title: Mutualism: What Do We Know, and Where Do We Go from Here?
Hosts: Angela Douglas, Entomology, and Andre Kessler, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Leslie Vosshall, Rockefeller University
Robin Chemers Neustein Professor
Lecture Title: Building a Mosquito’s Sensory System to Hunt Humans
Hosts: Ronald Hoy, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Laura Harrington, Entomology

Martin Blaser, New York University School of Medicine
Muriel and George Singer Professor of Medicine
Lecture Title: While Our Babies Are Sleeping, Their Microbes Are Working
Hosts: Jeremy Searle, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Ruth Ley, Microbiology

Frans de Waal, Emory University
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior, Department of Psychology
Lecture Title: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
Hosts: Bernd Blossey, Natural Resources, and Thomas Seeley, Neurobiology and Behavior

2015–2016


Ray Huey, University of Washington
Professor of Integrative Biology
Lecture Title: Are Tropical Ectotherms Toast?
Hosts: Jed Sparks, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Kelly Zamudio, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Naomi Pierce, Harvard University  
Hessel Professor of Biology, Department of Organisms and Evolutionary Biology/Museum of Comparative Zoology
Lecture Title: The Herbivore's Dilemma: Never Enough Nitrogen
Hosts: Katja Poveda, Entomology, and Thomas Seeley, Neurobiology and Behavior

Cori Bargmann, Rockefeller University
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor/Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
Lecture Title: Genes and Circuits for Innate Behaviors: a Salute to Neuroethology          
Hosts: Joseph Fetcho, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Andrew Clark, Molecular Biology and Genetics

Steve Palumbi, Stanford University
Professor of Biological Sciences; Director of the Hopkins Marine Station
Lecture Title: Evolution and Acclimation in the Face of Climate Change in the Sea
Host: Matthew Hare, Natural Resources

2014–2015


David Hillis, University of Texas at Austin
Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor in Natural Sciences
Lecture Title: Applications of the Tree of Life
Host: Linda Rayor, Entomology

Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University
Professor and Paul S. and Billie Achilles Chair of Environmental Biology
Lecture Title: Vertebrate Animal Responses to Climate Change
Host: Jeremy Searle, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Larry Young, Emory University
William P. Timmie Professor
Lecture Title: The Chemistry Between Us: From Genes and Brains to Monogamy and Autism Therapies
Host: Andrew Bass, Neurobiology and Behavior

Ivette Perfecto, University of Michigan
George Willis Pack Professor
Lecture Title: Complex Ecological Interactions and Autonomous Pest Control in a Coffee Agroecosystem
Host: James Lassoie, Natural Resources