Past Events

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Laboratory experiments on the linguistic consequences of communicative interaction"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Gareth Roberts, Yeshiva University

    If enough people take the same shortcut across a lawn, their footsteps will eventually create a path marking the route. While such a path certainly results from human action, it is not deliberately designed in the way that paved roads and highways are. Could this be a useful analogy for understanding the design of language? I will present experimental evidence indicating that — if we take a cultural-evolutionary approach to language — the answer is likely to be yes.

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Analysis of Organic Biomarkers Using Integrated Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis Systems for In Situ Extraterrestrial Investigations"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Amanda Stockton, California Institute of Technology

    Microcapillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection enables rapid, automated, and extremely sensitive analyses of organic biomarkers (down to 70 pM or sub pptr). I present recent work expanding compound class coverage of CE-LIF to include amines, amino acids, dipeptides, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Human development and naturalistic social interactions in chimpanzees: Understanding prosociality in the human lineage"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Bailey House, MPI Leipzig

    Both evolved adaptations and acquired information likely shape cooperation in many social animals. As such, to resolve the origins of human prosociality we must learn how uniquely human capacities for cultural learning and cultural evolution produce novel and diverse cooperative behavioral equilibria – and we must also describe the nature and phylogeny of adaptations for cooperation shared by humans and our close primate relatives. These issues have stimulated vigorous debates across anthropology, psychology and economics, and in my work

  • Astrophysics and Cosmology Seminar

    DRL A6

    Daniel Scolnic (Johns Hopkins University)

  • High Energy Theory

    DRL 2N36

    Matthew Williams (McMaster)

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Cheaters and collaborators: the evolution of cooperative animal societies"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Christina Riehl, Harvard University

    Most social animals live in family groups, in which cooperation is thought to be partly maintained by kin selection. But how do cooperative interactions evolve among unrelated individuals? Theory predicts that such interactions should be easily undermined by competition and cheating, and that they should arise only under rather restricted circumstances. Recent empirical research, however, shows that cooperative animal societies composed of non-kin are far more widespread than previously thought.

  • Astrophysics and Cosmology Seminar

    DRL A6

    Jens Chluba (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Hydrodynamics and collective behavior of the tethered bacterium Thiovulum majus"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Alexander Petroff, Rockefeller University

    The ecology and dynamics of many microbial systems, particularly in mats and soils, are shaped by how bacteria respond to evolving nutrient gradients and microenvironments.  Here we show how the response of the sulfur-oxidizing bacterium Thiovulum majus to changing oxygen gradients cause cells to organize into large-scale fronts.  To study this phenomenon, we develop a technique to isolate and enrich these bacteria from the environment.  Using this enrichment culture, we observe the formation and dynamics of T. majus fronts in oxygen gradients.

  • Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Identifying key processes in the evolution of language"

    Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)

    Christine Cuskley, Università La Sapienza

    Language forms the bedrock for all of our social interactions, be they interpersonal, performative, or economic. Understanding language therefore has the potential to further our understanding of a whole host of other social systems, and considering language from an evolutionary perspective is key to understanding it fully. This talk will focus on empirical findings in two areas in the evolution of language: the evolution of the lexicon, and evolutionary dynamics of language regularity.

  • Condensed Matter Seminar: "The memory of sand"

    Room A4, DRL

    Matthieu Wyart, New York University

    Complex systems are characterized by an abundance of meta-stable states. To describe such systems statistically, one must understand how states are sampled, a difficult task in general when thermal equilibrium does not apply. This problem arises in various fields of science, and here I will focus on a simple example, sand. Sand can flow until one jammed configuration (among the exponentially many possible ones) is reached.