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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 7, 2011

UI Museum of Natural History Directors' Lecture Series concludes with David Mindell Nov. 10

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Directors' Lecture Series will wrap up its fall lineup with a talk by David Mindell, dean of the California Academy of Sciences. Mindell's lecture, "Life's Genealogy and Why It Matters," will be offered Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Old Capitol Museum Senate Chamber.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be immediately followed by a dessert reception where Mindell will be available to sign copies of his 2006 book, The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life (Harvard University Press).

While visiting the UI, Mindell will also present a professional seminar titled "Dating Avian Divergences and Conservation Genetics in Birds of Prey," on Friday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. in Kollros Auditorium (Room 101) in Biology Building East. That event is co-sponsored by the UI Department of Biology and the Pentacrest Museums.

"Dr. Mindell is a renowned scientist and writer and was an obvious choice for a directors' lecture," says John Logsdon, director of UI Pentacrest Museums and associate professor of biology. "A major goal of the series was to bring top scientists to the university and the Pentacrest Museums to share their knowledge and excitement about new discoveries in museum-based research with the community. This fall's lectures have been a huge success, and we have more great speakers planned for next spring."

Mindell is the dean of Science and Research Collections and the Harry W. and Diana V. Hind Chair at the California Academy of Sciences, home of the Kimball Natural History Museum, in San Francisco. Before taking this post in July 2008, Mindell was professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and curator of birds at the Museum of Zoology. An accomplished researcher, Mindell is also a talented writer with an interest in communicating about science — especially evolution — to the general public. In addition to his 2006 book, he has written multiple articles for the popular press, including a 2009 feature article in Scientific American entitled "Evolution in the Everyday World."

For more information on the UI Museum of Natural History and the Directors' Lecture Series visit For more information on the California Academy of Sciences visit

PHOTO: David Mindell:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: John Logsdon, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-1082,; Steve Parrott, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0037, Writer: Ryan Lindsay