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Evo-devo pro gives public lecture

Friday 30 April 2010

D'Arcy Thompson

Professor Wallace Arthur, evolutionary biologist from the National University of Ireland, will arrive in St Andrews today to deliver a public lecture on evolutionary development – evo-devo.

The lecture will take place at 17.00 in the Bute Building Lecture Theatre C, and marks the 150th anniversary year of D'Arcy Thompson; Professor of Natural History at the University of St Andrews from 1917-1948.

Professor Thompson was a biologist, mathematician and classicist renowned for his book, On Growth and Form. It was within this book that he presented his 'theory of transformations', which shows how the differences between the forms of related species can be represented geometrically.

Professor Wallace will discuss the work of D'Arcy Thompson and its relations with the evolutionary views of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.

The lecture forms part of a year-long programme of events celebrating the life and work of D'Arcy Thompson. This is a collaborative project between the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee with funding from the Royal Society's 350th anniversary Local Heroes programme.

Professor Thompson's lasting links with St Andrews are evidenced in the Bell Pettigrew Museum in the Bute Building, St Andrews, where many exhibits provided through his research are on display.

What's more, an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of D'Arcy Thompson, The Parrot and the Polymath, is running in the Gateway Gallery, North Haugh, St Andrews until 3 May. The collection includes D'Arcy's passport, showing that - before commercial air travel - he travelled as far as Japan, India and Canada.

To view the full programme of events please visit: www.darcythompson.org/events.html

Photos of D'Arcy Thompson are available from the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager on 01334 462 167 or email Emma.Shea@st-andrews.ac.uk