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Primate Evolution

Lecture Archives:

Welch Hall room 2.224

5:45 - 7 - Pre-lecture Fun
7-8:15 - Lecture

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Friday, December 2, 2011 - 7 PM CT
Live webcast
December 2
7 PM

Your Eye, My Eye, and the Eye of the Aye-Aye

by Dr. Christopher Kirk
Department of Anthropology, UT - Austin

Lecture title: Your Eye, My Eye, and the Eye of the Aye-Aye: Evolution of Human Vision from 65 Million Years Ago to the Present.

What is the Lecture About?

How did humans come to have the best eyesight of any living mammal? Look through the eyes of primate ancestors with Dr. Chris Kirk, UT-Austin professor of anthropology. Dr. Kirk explains how his research related to the evolution of primate sensory systems helps us understand human visual adaptations in the larger context of primate evolution.

More info about Dr.Kirk's discovery of fossilized primates in west Texas can be found in an article from The University of Texas.

Presenter's Biosketch

Dr. Chris Kirk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Texas – Austin. Dr. Kirk teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in physical anthropology, is a member of the American Association of Physical Anthropology and Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and is the author of numerous professional publications, including papers published in the Journal of Human Evolution, the American Journal of Primatology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kirk has a broad array of research interests in physical anthropology, including sensory ecology, functional morphology, and paleontology. His primary research interest is the evolution of primate sensory systems, important to physical anthropology because many of the major adaptive shifts that occurred during the course of primate evolution involved key changes in sensory anatomy and ecology.

Websites of interest:
American Society of Primatologists is an educational and scientific organization that aims to understand, conserve and inform about nonhuman primates.

The Paleontology Portal is a resource for anyone interested in paleontology, from the professional in the lab to the interested amateur scouting for fossils to the student in any classroom.

From The University of Texas:
The Texas Natural Science Center's Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory is known worldwide as a major repository for unique scientific collections from the American Southwest.

eSkeletons provides an interactive environment in which to examine and learn about skeletal anatomy.

eLucy is a website dedicated to sharing information about Lucy, an early fossil hominin specimen that is represented by the 3.2 million year old remains of a relatively complete skeleton.

Digital Morphology, part of the National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative, develops and serves unique 2D and 3D visualizations of the internal and external structure of living and extinct vertebrates, and a growing number of 'invertebrates.'

K-12 teachers can receive professional development credit for attendance to our professional development workshop. To RSVP and join the workshop, click here.

Lecture materials are for educational purposes ONLY. We request that the use of any of these materials include an acknowledgement of the presenter and the Hot Science - Cool Talks of the Environmental Science Institute. Also include the disclaimer: May not be duplicated or commercially distributed as they are intended for education and private/classroom audiences.
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Last modified: August 23, 2011
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