Darwin Keynote

Women In Science

The Women in Science speaker was developed to highlight the contributions that women scientists have made to research and scientific knowledge.

Tuesday 22 April 2016
Time to be determined
(cookies at 3:30)

"Social behavior and mutualism in the social amoeba
Dictyostelium discoideum and its bacterial symbionts"
Dr. Joan Straussman
Washington University-St. Louis

With microbial studies we can see how well theories of social behavior derived from organisms with brains apply to organisms where cell adhesion, receptors, and secretions prevail. Furthermore, we can test specific predictions of kin selection and mutualism using experiments, experimental evolution, and genomics. Here I explore the behavioral ecology of social amoebae, introduce some of the genes behind these interactions, and delve into some of the complex interactions between amoebae and bacteria. Are the bacteria a disease, a crop, or a weapon?

Joan Strassmann is Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis where she has been since 2011. She was previously on the faculty at Rice University for 30 years. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin and her B. S. from the University of Michigan. In 2013 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She is interested in the evolution of cooperation and the control of conflict in social and mutualistic systems, from social wasps and bees to microbes including Dictyostelium and bacteria.

For more information, visit Dr. Straussman's website at http://strassmannandquellerlab.wordpress.com or http://sociobiology.wordpress.com

Past Speakers

2014, Dr. Lisa A. McGraw

2013, Dr. Dana Dudle

2011, Dr. Jill Mateo

2010, Dr. Melissa Emery Thompson

2009, Dr. Amy Parish

2008, Dr. Sari van Anders