Brief: Scripps lecture on evolutionary experiment

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD’s third annual Richard H. and Glenda G. Rosenblatt Lectureship in Evolutionary Biology will be given to Richard E. Lenski, John Hannah distinguished professor of microbial ecology at Michigan State University, for his scientific contributions in evolutionary biology.

Lenski’s lecture, entitled “Phenotypic and Genomic Evolution During a 40,000-Generation Experiment with Bacteria,” will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 15 in Sumner Auditorium on the Scripps Oceanography campus.

Lenski’s research explores the genetic mechanisms and ecological processes that underlie evolution. While most evolutionary research is done by the comparative method or by studying fossils, Lenski effectively watches evolution as it happens through experiments with organisms such as bacteria that replicate, mutate and evolve very fast. In an experiment started 20 years ago, Lenski and his team have watched populations of Escherichia coli evolve in the laboratory for thousands of generations to investigate the dynamics of adaptation and diversification.