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Evolution of whales is topic for annual Phi Beta Kappa lecture

October 09, 2008

Judy Holmes
(315) 443-2201

Judy Holmes

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Philip Gingerich, the Case Collegiate Professor of Paleontology at the University of Michigan, will present "Origin of Early Evolution of Whales: A Profound Transition from Land to Sea" Thursday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. in the Lundgren Room (Room 106) of the Life Sciences Complex. The lecture is presented by the Syracuse Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Reneé Crown University Honors Program and the Department of Earth Sciences in SU's College of Arts and Sciences.

While on campus, Gingerich will also present "Global Greenhouse Warming 55 Million Years Ago: Causes and Consequences" as part of the Department of Earth Sciences K. Douglas Nelson Colloquium Series Thursday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. in Room 210 of the Heroy Geology Laboratory. Refreshments will be served.

Both lectures are open to all members of the University's academic community.

Nationally recognized for his work, Gingerich is involved in research on the origin of modern orders of mammals and quantitative approaches to paleobiology and evolution. His fieldwork has been conducted primarily in the deserts of Pakistan and Egypt, where he and his research team discovered skeletons linking whales to land mammals. In 2001, he was a scientific adviser to the television series "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts."

Gingerich is recipient of the Paleontological Society's Schuchert Award, the Belgian Geological Society's Dumont Medal, and the Alexander von Humboldt research award for senior scientists. He was named a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Paleontological Society. He is currently a member of the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration and associate editor of the American Journal of Science.

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available each year 12 or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. They spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the visiting scholars and the resident faculty and students. Now entering its 53rd year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 555 Scholars on 4,651 two-day visits since it was established in 1956.

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