Lectures & Seminars
Joan Wood Lecture Series
About the Lecture Series
The Joan Wood Lecture Series provides a forum for undergraduates to interact with women in science-related careers. Designed to encourage undergraduate women to pursue advanced degrees in science, the series showcases the many career opportunities available to science majors.
Before her death in 1990, Dr. Wood was a strong advocate of women in the sciences and remained active in educational programs within the IU Department of Biology. Memorial contributions made in her honor helped establish this lecture series.
Upcoming Lecture (top)
Bronwyn Heather Bleakley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Who you hang out with matters: Exploring the evolutionary genetics of guppy cooperation at a teaching-intensive undergraduate institution
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
4:00 p.m., Myers Hall 130
A central problem in modern biology is understanding how an individual's traits--whether physical features, disease, or behavior--result from the combined action of genes, the physical environment, and the social environment with which an individual interacts. Describing genetic influences on behavior is particularly challenging when genes carried by multiple social partners interact to generate behavior. The effects of a partner's genes on an individual's phenotype are termed indirect genetic effects (IGEs) and the phenotype is an "interacting phenotype." How interacting phenotypes, such as cooperation, evolve depends on both the genetic architecture of the behavior and the structure of the social environment. Almost nothing, however, is known about how often or to what degree IGEs influence an individual's behavior, whether those effects vary across populations, nor what physiological mechanisms allow one partner's genes to influence another partner's behavior. Trinidadian guppies are an excellent model system to investigate indirect genetic effects on behavior because guppies perform a suite of cooperative antipredator behavior that is strongly influenced by social partners and varies greatly across populations depending on predation risk. Dr. Bleakley's lab uses quantitative genetic breeding designs with wild fish and inbred tester strains that vary in cooperative antipredator behavior along with measures of gene expression, hormone excretion, and variation in the lateral line organ to dissect the genetic architecture of IGEs. She works exclusively with undergraduates at a teaching intensive institution. She employs a rolling mentor-apprentice lab organization to provide substantive research experiences to diverse, often at-risk, undergraduates. These students both contribute to the lab research agenda and conduct independent research before going on to STEM and health careers. Such research experiences greatly support retention of at-risk students and help to diversify the STEM pipeline.
Past Joan Wood Lecturers (top)
March 11, 2015
Susana Lopez, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, National Autonomous University of Mexico. "Rotavirus interactions with its host cell: An arms race." Download flyer | IU news release | IU OVPDEMA news release
March 31, 2014
Rachel J. Dutton, Ph.D., Bauer Fellow, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University. "Food for thought: Combining the right ingredients for an exciting career in science." Download flyer | IU news release | Earth Eats podcast
Kimberly D. Tanner, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory, San Francisco State University. "Beyond Assessing Knowledge – Card Sorting, Superheroes, and Moving Towards Measuring Biological Expertise among Undergraduates." Download flyerMarch 30, 2011
October 21, 2009
Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the Center for Structural Biology, University of Florida. "Structural studies of Adeno-associated viruses towards improved gene delivery applications." Download flyer
March 25, 2009
Maria A. Schumacher, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Structural mechanisms of multidrug resistance and multidrug tolerance." Download flyer
October 3, 2007
Jamie L. Stalker, M.D., Medical Director of Argonne National Laboratory. "Flexibility and the Fickle Finger of Fate: A Peculiar Path from Musician to Medical Director." Download flyer. | IU news release
April 4, 2007
Nicole King, Ph.D., 2005 MacArthur Fellow and Assistant Professor of Genetics and Development at the University of California at Berkeley. "Finding My Way: Fossils, Choanoflagellates, and Motherhood." Download flyer
February 15, 2006
Donna Cragle, Ph.D., Director of Basic and Applied Research and Director of the Center for Epidemiologic Research for the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education. "Epidemiology: Wonderful Career Choice or Secret Society?" Download flyer
March 23, 2005
Gail Vance, M.D., Professor, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine. "Genetics, the Right Decision." Download flyer.
March 4, 2004
Anne Ephrussi, Ph.D., Group Leader and Senior Scientist, Developmental Biology Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Maternal Effect Genes and Passion: A View from Posterior Pole of the Drosophila Oocyte." Download flyer
March 26, 2003
Susan Gottesman, Ph.D., Chief, Biochemical Genetics Section, National Institutes of Health. "Growing Up with DNA: Reflections on a Career in Molecular Biology on the 50th Anniversary of the DNA Structure." Download flyer
October 10, 2002
Sharon Y. Strauss, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis. "How Understanding Ecological Communities Gives Us a Better Understanding of Individual Species." Download flyer
March 20, 2002
Ricki Lewis, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Genetic Counselor, Science Writer, Textbook Author. "From Science to Science Writing: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been."
March 28, 2001
Petra H. Belady, M.D., Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Indiana University, and Maternal/Fetal Specialist at Aegis Women's Healthcare. "Maternal-Fetal Medicine: One Woman's Career Path."
March 8, 2000
Sara Via, Professor, Departments of Biology and Entomology, University of Maryland. "How Does It Work: From Binocular Vision to Genetics of Herbivory?"
March 31, 1999
Virginia Walbot, Professor, Departments of Biological Sciences and Cell & Molecular Biology, Stanford University. "Jumping Genes of Corn."
November 18, 1998
Della Collins Cook, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University. "Did Columbus Bring Disease to the New World?"
March 11, 1998
Patricia Pukkila, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Reflections on Scientific Discovery."
November 12, 1997
Jennifer Kopczynski, Senior Research Scientist, Exelixis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Biotechnology: Model Organism Genetics and Human Disease."
April 9, 1997
Virginia Zakian, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University. "Telomeres: Beginning to Understand Chromosomal Ends."
October 16, 1996
Esther Thelen, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Indiana University. "Why's a Nice Biologist Like You Studying Babies?"
April 3, 1996
Ernestina H. Saxton, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Neurology, UCLA. "Migraines in Medicine and Academia."
November 8, 1995
Kathy D. Schick, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University, and the Co-Director of Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology (C.R.A.F.T.). "Pursuits of the Past: In Search of Human Origins."
March 29, 1995
Kathryn A. Koch, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine. "Alpha & Omega: The Beginning & End of Life."
March 30, 1994
Louise Brandau Preer, Ph.D.(deceased 2013), Emeritus Senior Scientist of Biology, Indiana University. Elizabeth C. Raff, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Indiana University. Alice B. Wood, M.D., Obstetrician, Aegis Women's Healthcare. "Personal Perspectives: Three Women in Science."
December 8, 1992
Kimberly A. Quaid, Ph.D., Director, Indiana University Huntington Disease Presymptomatic Testing Project. "The New Astrology: Genetics and Predictive Medicine."
April 15, 1992
Lucille Shapiro, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental Botany, Stanford University. "The Complex Life of Women in Science: A Rich Brew."
September 20, 1991
Wendy Farmer Boss, Ph.D., Professor of Botany, North Carolina State University. "The Joy of Science: Branching out into Plant Research."
March 26, 1991
Barbara Fruehling Gambill, Senior Counsel, Cinergy Services, Inc. "Women in Environmental Law."
November 28, 1990
Catherine G. Palmer, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Dept. of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine. "Human Genetics: A Career of Possibilities."