Past Meetup

Menno Schilthuizen - “Darwin Comes to Town” - author talk at the Carter Library

This Meetup is past

73 people went

Details

- This event is a production of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum as part of their ongoing author program.
- It is free and open to the public.
- RSVPs are not required to attend nor do they reserve any seats.
- Doors open at 6:30 pm and someone will be available to direct you to the auditorium where the talk will be held.
- Thanks to A Cappella Books, books will be available for sale and signing after the talk.
- “Darwin Comes to Town” will be the featured selection of A Cappella Books Science Book Club when it meets at Manuel's Tavern on Thursday, May 10 at 7:30.

Menno Schilthuizen - “Darwin Comes to Town” - author talk at the Carter Library

We are marching towards a future in which three-quarters of humans live in cities, and a large portion of the planet's landmass is urbanized. With much of the rest covered by human-shaped farms, pasture, and plantations, where can nature still go? To the cities -- is Menno Schilthuizen's answer in this remarkable book. And with more and more wildlife carving out new niches among humans, evolution takes a surprising turn. Urban animals evolve to become more cheeky and resourceful, city pigeons develop detox-plumage, and weeds growing from cracks in the pavement get a new type of seeds. City blackbirds are even on their way of becoming an entirely new species, which we could name Turdus urbanicus.

Thanks to evolutionary adaptation taking place at unprecedented speeds, plants and animals are coming up with new ways of living in the seemingly hostile environments of asphalt and steel that we humans have created. We are on the verge of a new chapter in the history of life, Schilthuizen says -- a chapter in which much old biodiversity is, sadly, disappearing, but also one in which a new and exciting set of life forms is being born.

Menno Schilthuizen shows us that evolution in cities can happen far more rapidly, and strangely, than Darwin had dared dream.

About the Author
Menno Schilthuizen is a Dutch evolutionary biologist, ecologist, and permanent research scientist at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden and a professor in character evolution and biodiversity at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He has published numerous articles about evolution and ecology and three popular science books.