PCSS Biology Speaker Series
On January 22nd Zachary Lewis, an evolutionary biologist and a PhD candidate at the Hanken Laboratory at Harvard University, addressed the 8th and 9th grade students about the evolution of development with a focus on amphibian evolution. The talk began with a brief discussion on why one would be interested in studying the evolutionary paths of different organisms, followed by an over view of the theory of evolution and the evidences that support the theory. Lewis then delved into why certain traits maybe favored for or selected against given certain ecological pressures, and the role of genetics in the process. The talk ended with a brief summary of Lewis' own work, in which he described the developmental and genetic mechanisms that account for lunglessness in salamanders.
The talk ended with a thirty minute Q/A session in which the PCSS students further their knowledge on evolution. The session ended with students looking at various live animals that Lewis wanted to show to the students, which included salamander embryos, frogs, and last but not the least, a GFP tagged (glow in the dark) salamander! The PCSS students and faculty would like to thank Mr. Lewis for investing so much of his valuable time in furthering our knowledge on this very important topic.