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Neil Shubin - October 28, 2010

Neil Shubin

Robert R. Bensley Professor, Organismal Biology and Anatomy Associate Dean, Organismal Biology and Anatomy Professor, Committee on Evolutionary Biology Provost, The Field Museum

"Finding Your Inner Fish"

8:00 PM Thursday, October 28, 2010
University Theatre

Neil Shubin best known as one of the discoverers in 2004 of the fossil that revealed a missing link in evolution between fish and land animals. He will discuss his 2008 book, Your Inner Fish, which tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth.

 

Please note: These lectures will not be posted online and a podcast will not be made available.

"Fossils, Genes, and the Evolution of Limbs"

3:40 PM Thursday, October 28, 2010
Gallagher Business Building 123

You are cordially invited to attend a seminar with Neil Shubin, a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science writer. He is best known as one of the three principal investigators who in 2004 discovered the fossil tetrapodomorph fish Tiktaalik rosae. Found in the Canadian Arctic, this fossil revealed an amphibious creature with the gills and scales of a fish, but the neck, shoulders, arms, and fingers of a land-living animal. This find was hailed as a discovery of a missing link in evolution between fish and land animals. His book, Your Inner Fish: A Journey Through the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body, appeared in 2008. In it , he tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Shubin shows that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Oliver Sacks called Your Inner Fish “my favorite sort of book—and intelligent, exhilarating, and compelling scientific adventure story, one which will change forever how you understand what it means to be human.”

Shubin earned a Ph.D. in organismal evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1987. After a teaching stint at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2001 as Chairman of Organismal Biology and Anatomy. He has conducted field work all over the world and has published numerous articles in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleobiology, Science, and Nature.