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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Darwin Day Event

When: Monday, February 22, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

Where: UTM, South Building, Room 2080
Who: Dr. Jason Head (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UofT)

Jason Head is a vertebrate palaeontologist and biologist who studies the evolutionary histories of reptiles, primarily from 66.5 million years ago to the present. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan in 1995, a Ph.D. in geology from Southern Methodist University in 2002, and has conducted field research in Pakistan, Tanzania, Mali, India, Jordan, and North America. While collecting Miocene reptile fossils in Pakistan, Jason developed an interest in the relationship of reptile diversity and body size to climate change, especially in snakes. His subsequent research includes quantitative analysis of skeletal morphology in modern and fossil lizards and snakes in order to reconstruct historical patterns of genetic control and development of the reptile axial skeleton, as well as continuing studies of paleoecology and paleoclimate, inferred from the fossil record. In 2009, Jason described the Worlds largest snake, Titanoboa cerrejonensis, and developed a method for estimating paleotemperature from body size in fossil reptiles. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, a research associate and the Royal Ontario Museum, and an Adjunct Assistant Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

He will be giving a talk entitled “Natural selection and adaptations as logical theories in studying evolution”