Public Release: 

3rd Annual AIBS, BSCS, NESCent Evolution Science and Education Symposium

2006 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers -- Albuquerque, NM

American Institute of Biological Sciences

This year's theme: "Macroevolution: Evolution above the Species Level"

In collaboration with the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is pleased to announce the 3rd annual evolution science and education symposium, "Macroevolution: Evolution above the Species Level." The one-day symposium will take place on October 14, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the annual meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).

Macroevolution is the term applied to the evolutionary processes that describe the formation of new species. A common example of macroevolutionary research is the work conducted by paleontologists.

The AIBS/BSCS/NESCent evolution symposium was established three years ago to improve the quality of science education. The symposium provides classroom teachers with an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in evolution science from leading evolution scholars. Science teachers attending the symposium as part of the NABT annual meeting will receive tips, classroom resources, and practical training in ways to incorporate the research findings presented during the symposium into their classroom lessons.

The BSCS - a Colorado Springs-based non-profit organization that works to improve all students' understanding of science and technology by developing exemplary curricular materials, supporting their widespread and effective use, providing professional development, and conducting research and evaluation studies - will provide teachers with hands-on exercises and resources.

Symposium speakers will include:

  • Dr. Philip Gingerich is Professor of Geological Sciences and Director of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan. Additionally, Dr. Gingerich holds faculty appointments in the Department of Anthropology, and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Gingerich has long-established research projects in several parts of the world. For instance, working with a colleague in Pakistan Dr. Gingerich is studying the origin of whales. Dr. Gingerich's research team was the first to find skeletons linking whales to artiodactyls land mammals. Additionally, Dr. Gingerich is interested in understanding how evolutionary processes over generations yield microevolutionary and macroevolutionary patterns observed on longer historical and geological scales of time. Dr. Gingerich has authored over 200 articles and is a co-editor of the journal Paleobiology.

    Dr. Gingerich will speak on "Fossils and the Origin of Whales."

  • Dr. Scott Hodges is Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Hodges conducts research on the genetic structure of plant adaptation and reproduction, as well as the genetic diversity and conservation biology of plant life in the California Channel Islands. Dr. Hodges received undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Hodges conducted research at the University of Georgia. Dr. Hodges is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Botany. Dr. Hodges has also reviewed scientific articles for various research journals, including Evolution, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Dr. Hodges will speak on "The Generation of Plant Biodiversity: Linking Historical Patterns with Evolutionary Processes."

  • Dr. David Jablonski is a Professor and Chairman of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology and a professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. Dr. Jablonski is also a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum in London. Dr. Jablonksi's research examines living and fossil organisms to determine their environmental histories and the evolutionary significance of extinction events. Dr. Jablonski has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and edited three books on paleontology and evolutionary biology.

    Dr. Jablonski will speak on the "Evolutionary Role of Extinctions and Recoveries in the History of Life."

  • Dr. Nicole King is Assistant Professor of Genetics and Development in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. King is also a faculty affiliate of the UC Berkeley Center for Integrative Genomics. Dr. King conducts research on the evolution and development of multicellular organisms. The goal of Dr. King's research is to better understand the origin and evolution of animals from a common ancestor. Dr. King's research findings have been published in such journals as Science, Nature, Evolution and Development, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The title for Dr. King's talk is "From Protozoa to Metazoa: The Origin of Animal Multicellularity."

  • Dr. Jeff Levinton is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Levinton conducts research on the evolutionary aspects of marine ecological processes. Dr. Levinton also uses molecular biology to determine the evolutionary age of various animals. Dr. Levinton has been the author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications. Dr. Levinton has been recognized for his teaching, and has been named a Fulbright scholar.

    Dr. Levinton will speak about the "Cambrian Explosion and the Nature of Evidence."

  • Dr. Nipam Patel is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Patel is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at UC Berkeley. Dr. Patel is well known for his research on the evolution of development mechanisms, most notably, the development of body plans. Dr. Patel received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his graduate degree from Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty of UC Berkeley, Dr. Patel was at the University of Chicago. Dr. Patel is a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals, including Evolution and Development; Genes, Development, and Evolution; and, Journal of Experimental Zoology.

Dr. Patel will speak about "The Evolution of Animal Bodyplans: Insights from Arthropod Development."


For additional information

For more information about the 2006 NABT annual meeting and to register for the conference, please go to There is not a separate registration for the symposium.

For more information about this AIBS/BSCS/NESCent Evolution Symposium, please go to

For more information about prior AIBS/BSCS/NESCent Evolution Symposia, please go to

About AIBS: The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society. Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Today, with headquarters in Washington, DC, and a staff of approximately 50, AIBS is sustained by a robust membership of some 5,000 biologists and 200 professional societies and scientific organizations; the combined individual membership of the latter exceeds 250,000. AIBS advances its mission through coalition activities in research, education, and public policy; publishing the peer-reviewed journal BioScience and the education website; providing scientific peer review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients; convening meetings; and managing scientific programs. Website:

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