University of Jyväskylä

05/11/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/11/2017 05:55

Evolutionary biology heavy hitters are coming to visit Jyväskylä!

The legendary evolutionary biologists Rosemary and Peter Grant will visit Department of Biological and Environmental Science at the University of Jyväskylä on 18 of May. The Grants are famous for their landmark work with Galápagos finches demonstrating evolution in action.

For 40 years Rosemary and Peter Grant have studied Galápagos finches, the species which have had a significant role in the evolutionary theory developed by Charles Darwin. Darwin found that the shape of a beak varied according to finch's diet. This observation had a significant impact when Darwin formulated the evolutionary theory.

Darwin thought that evolution would occur over a long period of time. Grants' research in the Galápagos Islands has shown, however, that evolution can happen quickly.

The Grants found that the beak shape and body size of the finches changed within a few years. This observation was made when a severe drought was experienced in the Daphne Major island in the 1970s, during which the small-beaked finches died. Instead the finches with large beaks survived because they were able to take advantage of larger seeds.

Rosemary and Peter Grant will give a lecture on 'In Search of the Causes of Evolution' on 18 of May starting at 15.15 at the Department of Biological and Environmental Science, lecture hall YAA303. All, who are interested about the lecture, are the most welcome to come!

[Attachment] Rosemary and Peter Grant have studied Galápagos finches.

Additional information:

  • Prof. Johanna Mappes, +358 40 537 2263, [email protected]