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Darwin Day Lecture 2023

The hybrid in your genome: How recent advances in behavior and genetics are changing our view of Darwinian evolution


with Karin Pfennig, Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

moderated by Johnny Randall, NCBG Director of Conservation


The registration period has closed for this event.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

2:00 PM-3:00 PM; followed by a reception, sponsored by The Carolina Biodiversity Collaborative, in the Pegg Exhibit Hall

Venue: Reeves Auditorium and Virtual

Free; preregistration required



Celebrate Darwin's birthday by joining us for our annual Darwin Day Lecture! 



Where do new species come from? Darwin proposed that the diversity of life could be explained when population divisions become magnified into new species over time. This “tree of life” thinking became our foundational metaphor for the natural world. Hybridization –– mating between species –– undercuts “tree thinking.” Until recently, this phenomenon was regarded as an evolutionary dead end and ignored. However, new data from diverse fields point to an inescapable conclusion: hybridization is common and can significantly impact living things (including our species!). So, we will celebrate Darwin’s birthday by asking whether Darwin’s tree still adequately represents life’s diversity or if a new metaphor is needed.



This program will be delivered in a hybrid format.


In-person option: Seats will be available in the Reeves Auditorium. Please register all members of your party separately to ensure we have enough seats. 



Virtual option: We will stream the lecture live via Zoom Webinar. Links for accessing the program will be emailed to registered participants in advance of the program.




The registration period has closed for this event.
Registration open until 2/12/2023 12:00 PM.

About the Speaker

Karin Pfennig is Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies how new species arise and the impacts of hybridization on evolutionary and ecological processes.

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Dr. Karin Pfennig


Hybrid (Virtual and Reeves Auditorium)

Seats are available in the Reeves Auditorium. A virtual option is available if you would prefer to view from another location.