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New Meetup: July's Summer Nights - Half Price Tickets @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:31 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: July's Summer Nights - Half Price Tickets @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

When: July 16,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Gallery Talk: Life?s a Niche
Speaker: Luke Mahler
7:00 pm, Free with admission to museum

From the Harvard Museum of Natural History:
http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/lectures_and_special_events/index.php

"One of the most amazing aspects of biodiversity is that no two species are exactly alike; each has carved out its own unique niche. Led by Harvard evolutionary biology graduate student Luke Mahler, explore the museum?s EVOLUTION and Language of Color exhibitions with a special focus on one of the most ecologically diverse vertebrates, the Caribbean Anolis lizards. Examining these creatures can provide insights into biodiversity at all levels, from rainforest plants to dinosaurs.".

Where to Meet:
It appears the museum's half-price tickets start at 5:00 pm until the museum closes at 8:00 pm. T.J. was thinking of heading to Harvard Square after work and wandering the museum and can meet up with people in the upstairs lobby at 6:20 pm. Just go through the front entrance, up the stairs, and off to the right. T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair spiked in the front, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. We can head in at 6:30 pm to wander around before the gallery talk.

Care to grab a beer after? Personally, I love John Harvard's Brew House https://www.johnharvards.com/index.shtml at 33 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA. We can grab a few pitchers and sample what they have in stock that day. We can wander around the museum until 8:00 pm or so, then head out to John Harvard's after.

About Summer Nights at the Harvard Museum of Natural History:

"Join us for extended hours on three Thursday nights this summer to explore the galleries and participate in special programs. The museum will offer half-price admission (and a 15% discount in the Museum Shop) from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on the third Thursday in June, July, and August. Each night will feature a special talk in the museum?s galleries, highlighting EVOLUTION, a new permanent exhibition". Thursdays, June 18, July 16, August 20, 5:00 - 8:00 PM.

About the EVOLUTION exhibit:
http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/exhibits/index.php

"EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. View animals and plants that sparked Darwin?s theory, dramatic displays of diversity within species, and computer simulations that demonstrate how natural selection acts. EVOLUTION offers behind-the-scenes looks at ongoing evolution research at Harvard from exciting new discoveries about human origins to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin's Finches".

About the Glass Flowers exhibit:
http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/exhibits/index.php

"One of the Museum?s most famous treasures is the internationally acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, the 'Glass Flowers.' This unique collection of over 4,000 models?some 3,000 on display?was created by the glass artisans, Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. The commission began in 1886, continued for five decades, and represents more than 830 plant species".

About Luke Mahler. from his web site:
http://www.oeb.harvard.edu/faculty/losos/mahler/

"I use comparative methods to analyze patterns of macroevolutionary change in clades of lizards. I couple phylogenetic hypotheses for lizard groups of interest with measurements of morphological traits of interest to track trends in the evolution of lizard body form over time and space.

"One project compares the evolution of Anolis lizards in insular and continental habitats. Anoles, which are renowned for their high taxonomic and phenotypic diversity, have undergone evolutionary radiations in both island and continental habitats in neotropical America. Anoles inhabiting the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean have diversified into discrete ecomorphs multiple times: on each of the four Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico), anoles have converged upon similar life histories and morphologies, and exhibit a very diverse range of lifestyles and shapes. Has diversification occurred similarly among continental anoles? Currently I am investigating the evolution of morphological disparity and rates of morphological evolution in mainland and island anole clades. Comparisons are made at several hierarchical levels, ranging from whole-radiation to community-community comparisons".

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/NerdFunBoston/calendar/10655323/

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