Indiana State University Newsroom

From Molecules to Ecosystems Seminar Series begins 8th year

January 30, 2013

A number of leading scientists from around the country will speak at Indiana State University as part of the From Molecules to Ecosystems Seminar Series this spring. The series in its eighth annual year will feature researchers from Cornell University, the University of California, Berkeley, and others, speaking about topics such as cancer, evolution and frogs.rn

"This series provides the opportunity to see scientists from all over the country talk about cutting edge research in their field," said Rusty Gonser, associate professor of biology at ISU. "It's a diverse group of biologists and scientists."

The series will feature a total of 13 speakers. Most presentations will take place on the campus of Indiana State University in Science 012 at 4 p.m. But, the three keynote addresses will take place later in the day and feature prestigious scholars.

As the Darwin Day keynote speaker, Mike Webster will discuss "Darwin and Misperceptions: What Evolution Isn't" on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in Science 012. Webster is part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University and studies animal social behavior from an evolutionary perspective, particularly focusing on the processes and outcomes of sexual selection.

Kevin Padian, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will present "Darwin, Dover and Intelligent Design" on March 28 at 7 p.m. in the University Hall Auditorium. Padian serves as the curator of paleontology at the University of California Museum of Paleontology and president of the National Center for Science Education.

The final keynote speaker, William Souder, will serve as this year's Earth Day Speaker on April 22 at 7 p.m. in the University Hall Auditorium. Souder is the author of three books, including "Under the Wild Sky," which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Harper's. Souder will speak about his most recent book, "On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson," a biography about Carson that was recently published on the 50th anniversary of her best-seller "Silent Spring."

Other speakers include researchers from Swarthmore College, the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, DePauw University and others. The series is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

For a complete schedule and more information, please visit

The series is supported by Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the Lily Endowment, the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, the Honors Program, First Year Experience, School of Graduate Studies, the Office of Affirmative Action and Diversity, the Women's Studies Program, the Center for Science Education, McNair Achievement Program, Office of the President, and General Education.

Contact: Rusty Gonser, associate professor, Department of Biology, Indiana State University, at or 812-237-2395

Writer: Bethany Donat, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University,