NOVA Science Seminar: Evolution and the Structure of the Natural World

All Students, Staff and Faculty are cordially invited to a

Science Seminar

Friday, February 3, 2012, CE Forum

12 noon – 1pm

“Evolution and the Structure of the Natural World”


Ilya Temkin, PhD, NOVA Faculty
Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian) and the American Museum of Natural History (New York)

Abstract: Every general biology textbook begins with the exposition of the biological hierarchy, the enormous range of levels of biological organization extending from microscopic scale of molecules to the scale of the entire biosphere. It is typically used to show the incredible range and complexity of biological disciplines but adds little to the discussion of its significance. I will attempt to show that the hierarchical organization of life is essential for understanding of how life works and evolves. More specifically, I will examine striking similarities of biological processes across hierarchical levels–from regulation of gene expression to ecological interactions–and its relevance to the origin of species.

Dr. Temkin’s main scientific interest is how life evolves. His work on marine bivalves took him all around the world, including field work in Australia, Thailand, Mexico, and Mozambique among other places. His interest in evolution includes human cultural evolution, particularly the history of musical instruments: he has written a few scientific articles on the evolution of musical instruments. He also builds and plays different musical instruments based on archaeological finds and as a musician has played extensively, including recent performances at the Library of Congress and Hilllwood Museum in Washington DC.

Presented by the Math, Science & Engineering Division and the Lyceum


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