University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom



Lecture at UCR: How Biological Species Evolve and Adapt


Evolutionary Geneticist to Give Talk at UC Riverside on How Biological Species Evolve and Adapt

John Werren of the University of Rochester will give the 2011 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture, May 16

(May 10, 2011)

John H. Werren (pointing at computer screen) is a professor of biology at the University of Rochester, NY.  Photo credit: University of Rochester. (Another photo below.)Enlarge

John H. Werren (pointing at computer screen) is a professor of biology at the University of Rochester, NY. Photo credit: University of Rochester. (Another photo below.)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Evolutionary geneticist John H. Werren will give the 2011 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture at the University of California, Riverside on Monday, May 16.

His lecture, titled “Using Nasonia (and its microbes) to reveal processes of adaptation and speciation,” will take place at 4 p.m. in the Genomics Auditorium, Room 1102A, Genomics Building, followed by a reception at 5 p.m. in the Department of Entomology lobby. Both the talk and reception are free of charge and open to the public.

Excellent organisms for research and teaching, Nasonia are parasitoid wasps that have been the subject of genetic, ecological, evolutionary and developmental research for several decades. These small insects are easy to work with, making them excellent study organisms. Females develop from fertilized eggs, whereas males develop from unfertilized eggs, making Nasonia particularly suited for genetic studies.

Werren, a professor of biology at the University of Rochester, NY, investigates a variety of topics in evolution. Currently, his lab is studying the evolution of inherited microorganisms; the genetic basis of morphological and behavioral differences between species; and the genetic conflict and evolution of “parasitic” or “selfish” DNA.

He has authored or co-authored more than 180 publications and his work is highly cited. He has been instrumental in making Nasonia vitripennis the model system for parasitoid wasp genetic studies, and has recently completed the genome of this wasp. In addition, he is one of the pioneers in the work on reproductive parasites (Wolbachia) and other selfish elements in insects.

Werren’s honors include: Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science; the Humboldt Prize awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany; and the Smithsonian Senior Fellow Award from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.

Werren received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1980, following which he went into the army. Subsequently he joined the University of Maryland for two years as a research associate in zoology and entomology. He has been at the University of Rochester since 1986.

The Boyce lectures were instituted in 1977 and honor Alfred M. Boyce (1901-1997), one of the world’s leading authorities on insects and mites that attack citrus and walnuts. Boyce served as the director of the UCR Citrus Experiment Station, first dean of the College of Agriculture, and assistant director of the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station.

For information about visitor parking, please see “Related Links” below.
John Werren gives the 2011 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture on May 16.  (Photo added on May 17, 2011.)  Photo credit: Miki Kelley.Enlarge

John Werren gives the 2011 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture on May 16. (Photo added on May 17, 2011.) Photo credit: Miki Kelley.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links

Footer