Science Writer to Discuss Evolution in UA’s ALLELE Series

  • September 28th, 2016
Carl Zimmer
Carl Zimmer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Award-winning author and science journalist Carl Zimmer will be on campus Thursday, Oct. 6, to talk about the global impact of human evolution at the 11th Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution, or ALLELE, seminar series.

The lecture, titled “Masters of Evolution,” begins  at 7:30 p.m. in room 1000 of North Lawn Hall on The University of Alabama campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“It is crucial we all understand evolution,” said Dr. William Evans, a professor in the department of journalism and creative media who arranged for Zimmer to speak in the ALLELE series. “As humans evolve, we are influencing the evolution of much of the Earth’s lifeforms.”

Zimmer plans to discuss how humans have become an evolutionary force driving natural selection, fostering the emergence of new species and pushing existing species into endangerment.

“I hope people come away realizing that evolution is real, and that it’s not just something that happened millions of years ago,” Zimmer said. “It’s happening all the time around us; it affects our health and well-being in profound ways; and we are actually driving evolution in animals, plants and microbes.”

Since 2013, Zimmer has been writing the weekly science column “Matter” for The New York Times. He has frequented radio shows including “Radiolab” and “This American Life” and has written 12 scientific books and two textbooks, including the first textbook on evolution for nonscience majors.

Over the years, he’s written hundreds of articles for The New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine, Scientific American, Science and Popular Science. He has also maintained a blog called The Loom.

He has received several awards throughout his career. Most recently he won the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, which is awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals who have helped advance the public’s understanding of evolution.

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

The 2016-2017 ALLELE series is supported by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the Office of Academic Affairs, Honors College, the Blount Undergraduate Initiative, the Summersell Center for the Study of the South and UA’s departments of anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, communicative disorders, communication studies, education studies in psychology, journalism and creative media, research methodology and counseling, English, geological sciences, history, New College, philosophy, physics and astronomy, psychology and religious studies.

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 Truman, Rhodes and Goldwater scholarships.


Dr. William Evans,


Courtney Corbridge,, 205/348-8539

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.