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Zuk Highlights President's Forum

Published: April 09, 2016

CHENEY, Washington - Marlene Zuk, an evolutionary biologist and behavioral ecologist, will visit Spokane for the EWU President's Forum for Critical Thought April 19-20. She will discuss ideas from her most recent book, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet and How We Live.

Zuk's eye-opening research shows that evolution can work much faster than was previously thought. We are not biologically the same as our cave dwelling ancestors, so why should we eat, exercise or mate like them? Jettisoning speculation for scientific evidence, Zuk takes on popular myths about diet, lifestyle choices and gender differences with witty and engrossing scientific analysis. In debunking paleo fantasies, Zuk broadens our ideas about human origins and what those origins can tell us about our present and our future.

In her TED Talk, What We Learn from Insects' Kinky Sex Lives, she states "People are more afraid of insects than they are of dying." Zuk studies how natural and sexual selection pressures shape the behavior, life history and physical traits of animals. Observing that humans like to apply what scientists learn about animals to their own lives and behavior, Zuk has developed witty and insightful ways to share the science of insect social life to the human experience.

Zuk's University of Minnesota lab focuses on emerging questions in behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. She and her associates use invertebrate systems to study the evolution of mating behavior and secondary sexual characters in natural populations.

Besides more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, Zuk has written numerous articles and books for the popular press. Her books include Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World; and Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can't Learn about Sex from Animals.

The President's Forum for Critical Thought is an important component of the multifaceted programming supported at EWU by the Daniel and Margaret Carper Foundation. The lecture series is presented in partnership with Dean Vickie Shields and the EWU College of Social Sciences.

An Evening with Marlene Zuk

Tuesday, April 19
7 p.m., Bing Crosby Theatre, Spokane
Free public admission
Book signing presented by Auntie's Bookstore

Wednesday, April 20
1 p.m., EWU Campus Lecture with Q&A
Walter and Myrtle Powers Reading Room, Hargreaves Hall 201
Open to all EWU students, faculty and staff


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