Biologist to Discuss Evolution’s Impact on Medicine in UA Lecture

  • February 17th, 2015
Dr. Mike Antolin
Dr. Mike Antolin

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Mike Antolin, a biologist, will present a lecture on the relationship between public health and evolution Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Biology Building Auditorium, room 127, on The University of Alabama campus.

The lecture, “What Doctors Need to Know About Evolution,” is part of the 2014-2015 Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution, or ALLELE, series at UA. It is free and open to the public.

Antolin will address the ways that evolution impacts medicine. He will also explain how understanding evolutionary processes has the potential to impact public health.

Dr. Laura Reed, assistant professor of biology at UA, said there is a growing movement toward recognizing how evolution shapes medicine. For example, the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has caused a worldwide crisis because doctors are unable to treat them, Reed said.

“Because bacteria evolved very quickly to the weapons we tried to use against them, we are running out of weapons that can work effectively against bacteria,” Reed said. “We don’t have the tools to treat them, so we need to understand how bacteria evolve to develop better tools to fight them and circumvent the bacteria’s ability to resist.”

Antolin is the chair of the department of biology at Colorado State University. His research focuses on studying infectious diseases in wildlife. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the University of Alberta in Canada and a doctoral degree from Florida State University.

The ALLELE series brings speakers to the UA campus to discuss aspects of evolution.

The 2014-2015 ALLELE series is supported by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Alabama Museum of Natural History and UA’s departments of anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, communicative disorders, geological sciences, history, philosophy, physics and astronomy, religious studies and telecommunication and film.

Learn more about the series at

The ALLELE lecture series is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships and Goldwater Scholarships.


Dr. Leslie Rissler, associate professor of biology, 205/348-4052,


Stephanie Kirkland, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.