Darwin Days--Keynote Presentation by Dr. James Lamsdell

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Horseshoe crabs are commonly referred to as living fossils, surviving unchanged for millions of years. However, the fossil record shows that in the past, these amazing creatures lived in lakes and rivers as well as coastlines and spread across all the continents including Antarctica. The talk will explore how horseshoe crabs have changed over their evolutionary history, and what the future may have in store for them as they deal with new, human-made challenges.

Dr. Lamsdell is an Assistant Professor of Paleobiology in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University.

Dr. Lamsdell’s research focuses on macroevolution and paleoecology through the lens of paleontology and paleobiology, particularly in aquatic arthropods such as marine chelicerates (relatives of spiders, mites, scorpions etc.). He uses phylogenetics to test the relationships of extinct organisms, and with these hypotheses of relationships he tests for patterns of selectivity in macroevolutionary events such as mass extinctions. He has published extensively on fossil horseshoe crabs and the extinct eurypterids, and has ongoing research projects focusing on the Late Devonian extinction.

Experience the wild world of evolution through our annual celebration of the life and ideas of Charles Darwin. Co-sponsored with Cornell University, Darwin Days’ events taking place the week of February 9-16 include a screening of “Jurassic Park”, several talks on Darwin, evolution, and living fossils, a panel discussion, a Darwin trivia night, and the Museum of the Earth’s annual Darwin Family Day.

Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 210th birthday with us, during our 14th annual Ithaca Darwin Days!

Darwin Days events:

Saturday, February 9th at 2:00 pm

Film Screening: “Jurassic Park”

Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY – Tickets: $9 ($8 for members)

Monday, February 11th at 6:00 pm

“Horseshoe Crabs: Living Fossils or Dynamic Survivors?” Keynote Presentation by Dr. James Lamsdell

Kaufman Auditorium, G64 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY – Free

Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30 pm

Panel Discussion: “Spores, Seeds, and Survival: Living Fossils and the World of Plants”

Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY - Free

Wednesday, February 13th at 7:30 pm

Darwin’s Cabaret with Dr. Willy Bemis

Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY – Free

Friday, February 15th at 7:00 pm

Darwin’s Trivia Challenge

The Rhine House, 632 West Seneca Street, Ithaca, NY

Saturday, February 16th at 10 am - 2 pm -

Darwin Family Day

Museum of the Earth, 1259 Trumansburg Road (Route 96), Ithaca, NY – included with admission to the Museum


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