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April 19, 2005

Inaugural Evolutionary Biology Lecture
To Be Presented At Scripps Oceanography
UC Davis Distinguished Professor Geerat
Vermeij Wins Rosenblatt Lectureship

By Dora Dalton

Geerat Vermeij, a renowned marine biologist and distinguished professor at the University of California, Davis, has been chosen to receive the inaugural Richard H. and Glenda G. Rosenblatt Lectureship in Evolutionary Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Vermeij will present the Rosenblatt Lecture, entitled, "Shells Inside Out: Envelopment and Its Evolutionary Implications," on Wednesday, May 4, 2005, at 3 p.m., in Sumner Auditorium, located on La Jolla Shores Drive, 1/2 block north of El Paseo Grande, on the Scripps Oceanography campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Rosenblatt Lectureship was created by ichthyologist Richard H. Rosenblatt and his wife, Glenda. Rosenblatt is a Scripps professor and curator emeritus of the Marine Vertebrates Collection, part of the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, the largest and most complete university-based oceanographic collection in the world. He has been associated with Scripps since 1958.

The Rosenblatt Lectureship includes a $3,000 honorarium and requires the awardee to present a public lecture at Scripps. It will be awarded annually to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the study of evolution, according to Robert Shadwick, Scripps professor of marine biology and chair of the Rosenblatt Lectureship selection committee.

"Professor Vermeij is world renowned for his studies of the evolution of molluscs, a group that includes incredible diversity, from sea slugs and clams to highly intelligent octopuses and athletic squids, and for which there is a good fossil record," said Shadwick. "His work has broad implications for our understanding of the principles of evolution. He is also a prolific writer and scientific communicator, with numerous scholarly articles and books to his credit. Because of these accomplishments, we are delighted to be able to award the inaugural Rosenblatt Lectureship to Geerat Vermeij, and to have him visit Scripps and interact with scientists and students here who share his interests in evolutionary biology."

Vermeij specializes in marine ecology and paleoecology, with focuses on the functional morphology of marine molluscs, coevolutionary reactions between predators and prey, biogeography and climate, the marine Mesozoic revolution, and the paleobiogeography of the Arctic and its influence on Atlantic and Pacific Cenozoic faunas.

Among his more than 160 publications are five published books as well as papers in such journals as Paleobiology and Science. His latest book, Nature and Economic History, tackles the subject of economics and evolution.

Vermeij received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1971. He has been honored with the UC Davis Faculty Research Lecturer Award, the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences and a MacArthur Award.

Media Contacts: Mario Aguilera or Dora Dalton (858) 534-3624

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