The 2018 Marker Lectures in Evolutionary Biology set for Feb. 19 and 20

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anne Stone, Regents' Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, will present the Russell E. Marker Lectures in Evolutionary Biology on Feb. 19 and 20, at University Park. The free public lectures are sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science.

The series includes a lecture intended for a general audience, titled "Tracking a killer: Using ancient DNA to understand the evolutionary history of tuberculosis," which will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, in the Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Life Sciences Building. A reception will be held at the conclusion of the lecture in the Willaman Gateway to the Sciences (the bridge) on the third floor, Huck Life Sciences Building.

Stone will give a more specialized lecture, titled "What does dental calculus tell us about diet, pathogens, and population history?: Preliminary results from the chimpanzees of Gombe," at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, also in the Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Life Sciences Building.

Stone's specialization and main area of interest is anthropological genetics. She takes a cross-disciplinary approach that includes bioarchaeology, molecular genetics, population genetics, and genomic analyses to understanding the population history of humans and the great apes and how they have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments. This research has three main strands: Native American population history, the evolutionary history of the Great Apes, and understanding the co-evolutionary history of mycobacteria (specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. leprae, the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy, respectively) with human and non-human primates.

Stone earned her doctoral degree in anthropology in 1996 at Penn State. She has been a Fulbright Fellow from 1992 to 1993, a U.S. National Institutes of Health NRSA postdoctoral fellow from 1997 to 1998, and a Kavli Scholar in 2007. In 2011, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2016, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Stone has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Human Evolution, and currently serves as a senior editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

The Marker lectures were established in 1984 through a gift from Russell Earl Marker, professor emeritus of chemistry at Penn State, whose pioneering synthetic methods revolutionized the steroid-hormone industry and opened the door to the current era of hormone therapies, including the birth-control pill. The Marker Endowment allows the Penn State Eberly College of Science to present annual Marker Lectures in astronomy and astrophysics, the chemical sciences, evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, the mathematical sciences, and physics.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated February 19, 2018