Lynn Margulis, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Geosciences since 1988, earned her doctorate in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Best known for her theory on the origin of cell organelles by symbiosis, she has published many research articles, books, chapters as well as a novel.
She has made numerous contributions to the primary scientific literature mainly related to microbial evolution on the prePhanerozoic Earth and to James E. Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis.
The Library of Congress announced in 1998 that it will permanently archive Margulis’ papers.
She was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and in 2008 she was among the recipients of the Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London for “major advances in evolutionary biology”, awarded every 50 years.
Margulis has been a member of the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences since 1983 and of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences since 1997.
27 May / HISTORY OF OUR LIVING EARTH
In her talk, History of our Living Earth, Professor Margulis will explain how life, a planetary phenomenon, has altered the surface sediments and atmosphere of the Earth from its original state as the third rocky inner body from the Sun.
The appearance and evolution of living matter depends upon three integrated processes: (1) establishment of the identity of autopoietic entities, (2) their reproduction at exponential rates beyond the capacity of the immediate environment to support them (Darwinian Natural Selection) and (3) the appearance and perpetuation of heritable change.
Heritable change of evolutionary significance documented in the fossil record arises mainly by symbiogenesis (and other multiple-gene acquisitions).
Although random mutations of course occur, for evolutionary innovation they are generally too small, invisible in effect, deleterious or trivial.
The major source of evolutionary innovation comes from community associations, syntrophies, symbioses, hybridogenesis, karyotypic fissioning and other processes that comprise the new field of “symbiogenetics”.
D I S C U S S A N T S
For the occasion David Hoptman presents his beautiful graphic works "No limits no boundaries".
To the gallery
studied at the University College of London and then earned his PhD in animal behaviour at Oxford University under Nobel laureate Niko Timbergen.
In the 1980s he became Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh, where he is currently Emeritus Professor.
Under the guidance of renowned English geneticist C.H. Waddington, he was one of the precursors of the British environmental movement, and among the founders of the Centre for Human Ecology at the University of Edinburgh.
A distinguished broadcaster for the BBC Science Unit, Aubrey Manning received the Zoological Society of London Silver Medal for public understanding of science.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he was UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the initiatives of the International Year of Planet Earth.
Stephan Harding teaches Gaia Theory and Deep Ecology at Schumacher College in southwest England, where he is also coordinator of the MSc course.
His work is based on a careful integration of rational scientific analysis with our intuition, sensing and feeling – a vital task at this time of severe ecological crisis.
Among his most significant scientific collaborations was working for many years with James Lovelock, the creator of Gaia theory.