EvoS Seminar Series

EvoS Seminars


The EvoS seminar series brings distinguished speakers and alumni to campus each semester to share their work on all aspects of humanity and the natural world from an evolutionary perspective.

While visiting campus, the speakers meet with faculty and researchers to share ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration. In many respects, the seminar series is the hub of EvoS, both as an educational program and a pathway for interdisciplinary research.

EvoS Seminars are held on Mondays from 5:15 pm - 7:15 pm throughout the semester (when classes are in session). The seminars are open to the campus and local community. Lectures are typically less than an hour, followed by Q&A by guests, and a longer discussion with students. Some speakers will be via Zoom and others in-person in Science 2 - Room 259.

Every semester, a 2-credit course titled "Current Topics in Evolutionary Studies" (EVOS451/ANTH 481/BIOL451/580S) is based on the seminar series. Every week, students read scholarly articles and write a commentary to prepare for the seminar and discussion. This course is frequently rated among the students' best intellectual experiences at Binghamton.

See detailed schedule below for more information and Zoom links.


Monday, Feb 6 - Seminar 1 

Joseph Brewer, Earth Regenerators
Title: Cultural Evolution for the Regeneration of Earth

  • Details


    Humanity has entered what may prove to be its most precarious moment in our history as a species. We have crossed many planetary boundaries needed to safeguard our collective future -- including those associated with biodiversity loss, the degradation of landscapes, cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus, climate change, and novel entities like microplastics that now pollute every water supply on Earth. In this talk we will explore how runaway cultural evolution in the human lineage is the primary cause of our planetary predicament and that we will need to become "wise managers" of our own evolutionary process in order to survive and thrive into an uncertain future.

    Our focus on the realm of solutions will be as practical as it is ambitious: Birth a planetary network of regenerative bioregional economies capable of restoring ecological health through intentional processes of cultural evolution. This includes a deep exploration of human social behavior and the cooperation that is required to heal entire landscapes at the scale of watersheds, mountain ranges, islands, and coastal estuaries.


    Joe Brewer is founder of Earth Regenerators and author of The Design Pathway for Regenerating Earth. He lives in Barichara, Colombia and is helping regenerate an entire regional climate system at the scale of 500,000 hectares. With his partner Penny Heiple, he is helping create a planetary network of regenerative bioregions through the activation of landscape partnerships in collaboration with Prosocial World and the Commonland Foundation. He can be found online at https://twitter.com/cognitivepolicy and https://www.facebook.com/joe.brewer.31

    For more information, visit: https://earthregenerators.org/

Monday, Feb 13 - Seminar 2

Nasser Malit, SUNY Potsdam, Anthropology
Title: Human Evolution in Africa: Evidence from the Central Highlands of Kenya

  • Details
    • Monday, February 13, 2023, 5:15 pm
    • In person and via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738
    • Dr. Nasser Malit, SUNY Oswego, Anthropology (Binghamton University Anthropology MA ‘02 and PhD, ‘09) 
    • Human Evolution in Africa: Evidence from the Central Highlands of Kenya


    This lecture will focus on new fossil discoveries in the Central Highlands of Kenya, the so-called CHK region. In particular, new hominin remains have been found at the site of Ngobit that date to 500,000-600,000 years ago, during the Middle Pleistocene time period. This is a poorly sampled time interval but predates the emergence of our own species, H. sapiens, around 300,000 years ago. Thus, fossils from this time period are considered broadly ancestral to modern humans. The talk will discuss how the site of Ngobit and the new fossils recovered there are positioned to add crucial new insights about the morphological and taxonomic diversity of hominins from the Middle Pleistocene of Africa. This project is one that may fundamentally change our understanding of human evolution and help determine the role of high-altitude environments in our evolutionary history.


    Dr Nasser Malit earned his B. A. in Anthropology (in 1995) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He then furthered his studies at Binghamton University (SUNY) where he earned both M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology (Paleoanthropology) in 2002 and 2009 respectively. He is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. His teaching includes various areas in biological anthropology such as human origins, evolutionary medicine, primatology, skeletal biology, and forensic anthropology. Besides a great track record in teaching, Dr Malit has led independent paleontological research and collaborated with other researchers. Dr Malit is the Director of the Buffalo Springs Project that investigates sites in Samburu, Kenya. He also is a Co-PI in the Central Highlands of Kenya Project. His work in the Miocene sites of Kenya includes Lothagam and Buluk in Lake Turkana Basin and Songhor in Western Kenya.

    Accompanying Reading

    Stringer, C. (2016). The origins and evolution of Homo sapiens. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0237

Monday, Feb 20 - Seminar 3

Adriane Lam, Binghamton University, Geology
Topic: International Ocean Discover Program Expedition 371: How tiny fossils can answer large questions about our Earth system

  • Details
    • Monday, February 20, 5:15 pm
    • In person S2-259 and via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738
    • Dr. Adriane Lam, Binghamton University, Geology
    • International Ocean Discover Program Expedition 371: How tiny fossils can answer large
      questions about our Earth system


    In 2017, the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 371 drilled a
    series of six sites in the Tasman Sea. The purpose of the expedition was to recover seafloor
    sediments deposited atop the newly named continent of Zealandia to infer how plate tectonics
    operate in the region, and to reconstruct ancient climate in the South Pacific Ocean. Key to
    meeting the expedition’s goals are fossils, specifically fossil plankton. This talk will highlight the
    findings of the expedition, discuss how fossils can be used to infer ancient tectonic and climate
    events, and how researchers at Binghamton are using these fossils to also investigate
    evolutionary processes through time.


    Dr. Adriane Lam began at Binghamton University as a Presidential Diversity
    Postdoctoral Fellow, and is currently in her first year as an Assistant Professor in the Geology
    Department. Adriane works with fossil marine plankton (foraminifera) and ancient invertebrate
    fossils to investigate evolutionary processes of these organisms across major climate
    perturbations. She also conducts paleoceanographic research, where she and her lab
    reconstruct surface ocean currents across ancient warming events that are analogous to the
    warming Earth is experiencing today and in the coming decades. Adriane is co-creator and co-
    President of Time Scavengers, a non-profit organization that provides accessible information
    about climate change and evolutionary theory to aspects of the general public, and helps
    support the next generation of Earth stewards.

    Accompanying Reading

    Mortimer, N., Campbell, H.J., Tulloch, A.J., King, P.R., Stagpoole, V.M., Wood, R.A.,
    Rattenbury, M.S., Sutherland, R., Adams, C.J., Collot, J., 2017. Zealandia: Earth’s hidden
    continent. GSA today 27(3), 27-35.

Monday, Feb 27 - Seminar 4

Laure Spake, Binghamton University, Anthropology
Title: Alloparenting and cooperative breeding in humans

  • Details

    Speaker: Dr. Laure Spake – Binghamton University (SUNY)
    Title: Alloparenting and Cooperative Breeding in Humans

    In person and via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Evolutionary anthropologists have long argued that humans are unusual mammals
    in the way that they collaboratively care for each other’s offspring. Alloparenting, or
    care provided to children by individuals whom are not their parents, is rare across
    both primate species and the wider mammalian class. Collaborative care for
    children, which has been referred to as cooperative breeding and biocultural
    reproduction, is a key feature of our reproductive ecologies and has been proposed
    to explain the evolution of several human life history traits such as long childhoods,
    short inter-birth intervals, and even menopause. In the first of this talk, I will
    introduce cooperative breeding as a key feature of human reproductive ecologies
    across cultural boundaries. Then, I will present cross-cultural data on the links
    between alloparental investments and child wellbeing, focusing on growth and

    Laure Spake is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at
    Binghamton University. Her research draws on insights from behavioral ecology,
    life history theory, and biocultural frameworks to better understand the causes and
    consequences of human variation. Specifically, she studies children and childhood
    and how ecologies – and changes in ecologies over space and time – affect growth
    and development.

    Associated Reading:
    Kramer, K.L., 2010. Cooperative breeding and its significance to the demographic
    success of humans. Annual Review of Anthropology 39, 417-436.

Monday, Mar 6 - Seminar 5

Mercedes Conde-Valverde, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares (Spain)
Title: Sounds of the Past
  • Details

    Speaker: Dr. Mercedes Conde-Valverde
    Title: The Sounds of the Past

    Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Class meets in S2-259

    One of the central questions in the study of the evolutionary history of human beings
    is the origin of language. Since words do not fossilize, paleoanthropologists have
    focused on establishing when the anatomical structures that support human speech,
    our natural way of communicating, first appeared and in which species of human
    ancestor. Humans differ from our closest primates not only in the anatomy of the vocal
    tract, which enables us to speak, but also in the anatomy and physiology of the ear.
    Our hearing is finely tuned and highly sensitive to the sounds of human speech, and is
    clearly distinct from that of a chimpanzee.
    Nearly 20 years ago, our research team studied the hearing abilities in the fossil
    hominin remains from the Sima de los Huesos, dating to about 450,000 years ago in
    the Sierra de Atapuerca, and representing the ancestors of the Neandertals. This relied
    on the use of CT scans, virtual reconstructions and mathematical modelling of the
    sound power transmission through the ear, and allowed us to rigorously reconstruct
    the hearing of a fossil species for the first time. The results of this study were
    unequivocal: the people who lived 450,000 years ago in the Sierra de Atapuerca had a
    hearing pattern that was very similar to our own and clearly different from that of
    chimpanzees. This line of research was subsequently extended back in time, to study
    early hominin fossils dating to 2.0-2.5 million years ago. Our work showed that the
    hearing of these hominins was more similar to that of modern chimpanzees and
    different from that of modern humans.
    Most recently, we have studied the hearing abilities in Neandertals, our closest
    evolutionary relatives and a group of humans who have long been the subject of
    fascination to paleoanthropologists for both their similarities and differences from
    ourselves. The hearing pattern in Neandertals was indistinguishable from our own. We
    believe this is some of the strongest evidence to date that Neanderthals had a similar
    oral communication system as modern humans. Due to the close relationship between
    hearing and communication, this discovery has important indications for how and
    when language evolved.

    Bachelor’s in Biology, Master’s in Physical Anthropology and PhD in Human Evolution
    from the University of Alcalá with Extraordinary Doctorate Award. She is a member of
    the Atapuerca team since 2011. She is currently the director of the Chair of
    Evolutionary Otoacoustics and Paleoanthropology at HM Hospitales and the University
    of Alcalá and Assistant Professor of the Department of Life Sciences at the University
    of Alcalá. Visiting Professor and Coordinator of the Human Evolution Area of the
    Francisco Javier Muñiz Research Center of the University of Buenos Aires and

    anthropology depeartmental affiliate at Binghamton University (New York). She is the
    author of more than a dozen scientific articles in journals including Nature Ecology and
    Evolution, Science Advances, eLife and Journal of Human Evolution.

    Accompanying Reading:
    Conde-Valverde, M., Martínez, I., Quam, R.M., Rosa, M., Velez, A.D., Lorenzo, C.,
    Jarabo, P., Bermúdez de Castro, J.M., Carbonell, E., Arsuaga, J.L., 2021. Neanderthals
    and Homo sapiens had similar auditory and speech capacities. Nature Ecology and
    Evolution 5(5), 609-615.
    Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-021-01391-6

Monday, Mar 13 - Seminar 6

Omer Gokcumen, University at Buffalo

Title: Trade-offs that shape our genomes: Surviving starvation and microbes

  • Details

    Speaker: Dr. Omer Gokcumen (University at Buffalo)
    Title: Trade-offs that shape our genomes: Surviving starvation and microbes

    Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Class meets in S2-259

    A key question in biology is why genomic variation persists in a population for extended
    periods. Our recent work showed that many biologically relevant variants have been
    segregating among our ancestors for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years.
    We argue that trade-offs between metabolic and immune adaptations led to the
    maintenance of these common, functional variants in the human genome. One such
    variant is the common deletion of the third exon of the growth hormone receptor gene
    (GHRd3). This deletion is associated with birth weight, growth after birth, and the time of
    puberty. Using population genetics and functional analysis of novel mouse models, we
    showed that GHRd3 has evolved as an adaptation to severe malnutrition. We further
    found that the organismal effects of GHRd3 are male-specific and appear only under
    calorie restriction. Further, we found that disruption of the growth hormone pathway
    leads to susceptibility to infectious diseases, but only in males. I will argue in this lecture
    that these evolutionary trade-offs underlie a considerable portion of the genetic basis of
    disease susceptibility in humans.

    Omer Gokcumen is an associate professor in the Biological Sciences Department at
    University at Buffalo. His research focuses on evolutionary and anthropological
    genomics — studying how humans evolved and how they differ from nonhuman
    primates and mammals. He received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from
    Bogazici University in Istanbul in 2002. He then earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at the
    University of Pennslyvania in 2008. After a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard
    Medical School, Gokcumen started his laboratory in Buffalo. Gokcumen and his team
    have published over 75 articles on several areas of human and mammalian evolutionary
    genomics. His research has been recognized by several awards and featured in several
    popular outlets, including NYT, BBC, Guardian, Scientific American, New Scientist, and

    Accompanying Reading:
    Saitou, M., Resendez, S., Pradhan, A.J., Wu, F., Lie, N.C., Hall, N.J., Zhu, Q.,
    Reinholdt, L., Satta, Y., Speidel, L., Nakagome Shigeki, Hanchard, N.A., Churchill, G.,
    Lee, C., Atilla-Gokcumen, G.E., Mu, X., Gokcumen, O., 2021. Sex-specific phenotypic
    effects and evolutionary history of an ancient polymorphic deletion of the human growth
    hormone receptor. Science Advances 7(39), eabi4476.

    Link: https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/sciadv.abi4476

Monday, Mar 20 - Seminar 7

Leticia Aviles, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia
Title: Drivers and selective forces in the origin of higher levels of organization: Lessons from the biology of social spiders

  • Details
    • Monday, Mar 20 - Seminar 7
    • Leticia Aviles, Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of
      British Columbia
    • Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

      Class meets in S2-259


    Throughout the history of life lower-level units have become associated into higher
    levels of organization—prokaryotic into eukaryotic cells, cells into multicellular
    organisms, and individuals into social groups. Cooperative breeding spiders and
    related less-social species illustrate how group living and cooperation may arise as
    solutions to environmental challenges that solitary-living species of certain
    characteristics cannot meet. Spider species that build costly three-dimensional
    webs, for instance, may be excluded from areas with strong disturbance by rain or
    predators unless they live in groups. In addition to communally maintaining their
    webs and caring for their offspring, these spiders cooperate in the capture of
    insects many times their body size. As large insects are required for large colonies
    to form, colonies with up to thousands of individuals form in some areas of the
    world and not in others. After reviewing the research that led to uncovering the
    drivers of group living in these organisms, I will consider the conditions under
    which natural selection at the level of the collective may overcome selection on the
    individual units to favour traits ranging from cooperation to female-biased sex
    ratios. In doing so, I will consider the full spectrum of population structures, from
    short-lived groups of non-relatives that form by aggregation, as in the cellular slime
    molds or many human institutions, to groups that grow through internal
    recruitment over the generations, as in the social spiders.

    Leticia Avilés is full professor at the Department of Zoology and the Biodiversity
    Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada.
    With an emphasis on group-living arthropods, her research seeks to elucidate the
    forces responsible for the origin of higher levels of organization and the
    consequences of such origins on the structure and dynamics of populations. She
    earned her PhD at Harvard University and was a post-doctoral fellow and then
    assistant and associate professor at the University of Arizona (UofA) before joining
    UBC in 2002. Work in her lab uses both empirical and theoretical approaches to
    explore the drivers and selective forces involved in the formation of social groups.
    She has published over 80 papers and book chapters and trained graduate and

    undergrad students and post-docs at three institutions (UBC, UofA, and the
    Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, in Quito, where she initiated her
    training as a biologist). She has received funding from NSF, NSERC, and the James S.
    MacDonnell Foundation and is a recipient of the American Society of Naturalists
    Young Investigator Award, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin and
    of the Animal Behaviour Society. She will be joining the board of the American
    Naturalist as the Natural History Editor in March 2023.

    Accompanying Readings:
    Aviles, L. 2020. Social Spiders. In Starr, C.K., Ed., Encyclopedia of Social Insects. Springer,
    Cham. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_110-1. Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-
    Avilés, L. 2002. Solving the freeloaders paradox: Genetic associations and frequency
    dependent selection in the evolution of cooperation among nonrelatives. Proceedings of
    the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 99(22): 14268-14273. Link:

Monday, Mar 27 - Seminar 8

Richard Lenski, Michigan State University
Topic: Long-term evolutionary experiment with E. coli

  • Details

    Speaker: Dr. Richard Lenski (Michigan State University)
    Title: Time Travel in Experimental Evolution

    Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Class meets in S2-259

    Like cuneiform on clay tablets, the history of life itself is written in minerals and in code.
    The minerals are fossils of long-dead organisms, and the code is the language of DNA that
    reveals the family tree of life. But evolution is not only about the past—it is a process that
    continues to this day. In fact, evolution can be studied experimentally in organisms, like
    bacteria, with fast generations. Moreover, bacteria can be frozen and revived, allowing one
    to compare and even compete cells that lived at different times. In this talk, I will present
    highlights from an experiment with bacteria that has been running for over 30 years and
    75,000 generations. I will also show vignettes from experiments with viruses that infect
    bacteria, and with digital organisms that can solve logic problems. These experiments
    collectively illuminate both the gradual improvement of performance and the sudden
    emergence of new capabilities.

    Richard Lenski is the John Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbial Ecology at Michigan
    State University, where he studies the genetic mechanisms and ecological processes that are
    responsible for evolution. Unlike most evolutionary biologists, Lenski performs
    experiments to watch evolution in action. In an experiment that he started in 1988, he and
    his team have followed 12 populations of bacteria while they evolve in the lab for 75,000
    generations, providing insights into the process of adaptation by natural selection, the
    dynamics of genome evolution, the repeatability of evolution, and the origin of new
    functions. Samples from throughout the experiment have been stored in a freezer, and the
    organisms that lived in different generations can be revived and directly compared—in
    effect, allowing time travel. In addition to his research on bacteria, Lenski studies the
    coevolution of bacteria and viruses that infect bacteria, as well as digital organisms in the
    form of computer programs that can self-replicate, mutate, compete, and evolve the ability
    to solve problems.
    Lenski is a past President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and he was a member of
    the National Research Council committee that reviewed the scientific approaches used in
    the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. He co-founded the BEACON Center for
    the Study of Evolution in Action, which brings together biologists, computer scientists,
    engineers, and philosophers to harness and illuminate the power of evolution in action.
    Lenski has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations,
    and he received a Friend of Darwin award from the National Center for Science Education.
    He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy
    of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American
    Philosophical Society. Lenski has authored over 250 papers, and he has mentored some 30
    graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who are now on the faculties of universities
    around the nation and the world.

    Accompanying Reading:

    Lenski, R.E., 2017. What is adaptation by natural selection? Perspectives of an experimental
    microbiologist. PLoS genetics 13(4), e1006668.
    Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006668

Monday, Apr 17 - Seminar 9

David Braun, George Washington University, DC
Topic: Origins of Technology

  • Details

    Title: Technological Origins: Behavioral Evolution Across the Plio-Pleistocene 

    Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Class meets in S2-259

    Abstract :

    Humans are unique in the primate lineage in our ability to adapt to almost every terrestrial environment on earth. Much of this adaptation is due to our ability to use tools. The early archaeological record of ancestral humans extends over three million years, documenting our technological evolution. Our current lack of understanding about the diversity of hominin tool use derives from a methodological shortfall in our ability to diagnose the diversity of hominin technology. I describe evidence from field-based explorations of hominin technology in the Afar and Turkana basins to describe the diversity of tool assisted behaviors that hominins may have engaged in. I further explore how the diversity of hominin behaviors may have left a lasting impact on the ecosystems that humans occupied for the last 3 million years. Using new archeometric techniques combined with targeted field explorations we may be able to understand more about the role of technology in our cultural evolution. New avenues of research (e.g. primate archaeology, agent-based modelling) allow us to broaden our perspective on the ways in which ancient human ancestors used technology.

    Brief Biosketch:

    David R. Braun is a Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University in the Center for the Advanced study of Hominin Paleobiology. Dr. Braun conducts field research on Plio-Pleistocene archaeological and human paleontological sites in Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Mozambique. Dr. Braun is the co-director of the Koobi Fora Research and Training program which directs a research and training field course in northern Kenya in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya. He also conducts research on the tool use behaviors of chimpanzees and macaques. Dr. Braun’s field research was involved with the recovery of early members of our genus as well as footprints of early humans. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and is actively engaged in new research on the impact of humans on ancient landscapes. 

    References to read:

    Braun, David R., et al. "Ecosystem engineering in the Quaternary of the West Coast of South Africa." Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 30.1 (2021).

    Braun, David R., et al. "Earliest known Oldowan artifacts at> 2.58 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia, highlight early technological diversity." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.24 (2019): 11712-11717.

    Tennie, C., Premo, L. S., Braun, D. R., & McPherron, S. P. (2017). Early stone tools and cultural transmission: Resetting the null hypothesis. Current Anthropology, 58(5), 652-672.

Monday, May 1 - Seminar 10

Katie Hinde, Arizona State University
Title: Hormonal Signals in Mother's Milk Orchestrate Infant Developmental Tradeoffs and Trajectories

  • Details

    Hormonal Signals in Mother's Milk Orchestrate Infant Developmental Tradeoffs and Trajectories

    Lecture via Zoom; https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/98942256738

    Class meets in S2-259


    Among mammals, early life organization of metabolism, immune function, neurobiology, and behavior is shaped in part by mother’s milk nutrients, immunofactors, and signaling molecules. Of particular interest to lactation biologists, maternal-origin hormones, ingested through milk, bind to infant receptors influencing hormonal signaling cascades among mammalian young. To date, glucocorticoids in mother’s milk have been associated with offspring growth, temperament, behavior, and cognition in rodents, monkeys, and humans. Among rhesus monkeys, critical windows of neurodevelopment, especially regions that regulate behavioral activity, emotion, exploration, and memory, occur when infants rely on mother’s milk to sustain development and behavioral activity. Here we leverage long-term lactation research among rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the California National Primate Research Center to explore the relationships among milk nutrients and cortisol and offspring survival, growth, temperament, neuroenergetics, and reproductive debut. After accounting for relevant co-variates, mother’s milk in early life offspring outcomes years after the period of maternal dependence. Notably sons and daughters differed in their sensitivities to mother’s milk. Taken collectively, emerging results suggest that mothers with fewer somatic resources may “program” offspring phenotype through milk bioactives that orchestrate dynamic tradeoffs among behavioral activity, cognitive development, and somatic growth. As such, milk components ingested during development potentially shape ontogenetic trajectories among primates into adolescence and adulthood.

    Katie Hinde is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Center for Evolution and Medicine, at Arizona State University. As Director of the Comparative Lactation Lab, Hinde investigates the evolutionary ecology and behavioral biology of milk, mothers, and infants. Decoding mother’s milk contributes to enhanced precision medicine for the most fragile infants and children in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Transdisciplinary approaches to mother’s milk research, along with public engagement, facilitate discoveries at the bench and their translation to applications at the bedside. Hinde began her college education at Seattle Central Community College, completed her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Washington in 1999 and earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of California Los Angeles in 2008. From 2009-2011, she trained as a post-doc in neuroscience at UC Davis and began her faculty career as an Assistant Professor in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University from 2011-2015. In addition to dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, Hinde co-edited the book “Building Babies: Primate Developmental Trajectories in Ultimate and Proximate Perspective" in 2013. Hinde showcases research on mother’s milk, breastfeeding, and lactation for the general public, clinicians, and researchers at her blog “Mammals Suck… Milk!” and her TED talk "What We Don't Know About Mother's Milk" has ~1.5 million views. Hinde founded and directs “March Mammal Madness,” a month-long public engagement campaign that showcases animals, ecology, and behavior to hundreds of thousands of participants annually. Hinde received Early Career Achievement Awards from the American Society of Primatologists and the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation and has been further recognized for her public outreach, knowledge translation, sustainability, and academic activism as a AAAS Lifetime Fellow.

Past seminar series

  • Archived Seminar Series (by semester)

    Spring 2022

    • Yaneer Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute
      Implications of the Pandemic for Values and the Survival of Humanity
    • Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, Anthropology/EvoS
      Mystery of the Pit of the Bones
    • Allen MacNeill, Binghamton University, EvoS
      On Purpose: The Evolution of Intentionality
    • Jeremy DeSilva, Dartmouth College, Anthropology
      First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human
    • Antonio Lazcano, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
      Origin of Life
    • Steven Brown, McMaster University, NeuroArts Lab
      The Origins of the Vocal Brain in Humans
    • Sage Gibbons, Northeastern University
      Collective Efficacy and Neighborhood Adaptability to COVID-19
    • Wendy Jones, Author and Independent Scholar
      The Attachment System: How and Why We Find Safety in Close Relationships
    • Paul Ewald, University of Louisville, Biology
      The Evolutionary, Historical and Epidemiological Context of COVID
    • David Schaffer, Binghamton University, Visiting Research Professor
      Evolving artificial brains
    • Tyler Murchee, McMaster University, Anthropology
      Ancient DNA and Pleistocene Megafauna Extinctions
    • Cai Caccavari, Binghamton University, Anthropology
      Graduate Student Presentation

    Spring 2021

    • Seminar Title: Humpback whale communication in the Anthropocene \ Speaker: Michelle Fournet, Cornell, Biology
    • Seminar Title: The World Recipes Project and the Biocultural Evolution of Cuisine \ Speaker: Solomon H Katz, University of Pennsylvania
    • Seminar Title: The Cheating Cell: How cancer evolves inside us and how we can keep it under control \ Speaker: Athena Aktipis, Arizona State University, Anthropology
    • Seminar Title: Talking with Neandertals \ Speaker: Rolf J. Quam, Binghamton University, Anthropology
    • Seminar Title: Ecological Adaptation and the Origin and Maintenance of Biodiversity \ Speaker: Thomas Powell, Binghamton University, Biology/EvoS
    • Seminar Title: Self-governance and the unitary veil \ Speaker: Michael Cox, Dartmouth, Environmental Studies
    • Seminar Title: The Evolution of Belief: Meaning-making, belief, and world shaping as core processes in the human niche  \ Speaker: Agustin Fuentes, Princeton, Anthropology
    • Seminar Title: The Cultural Foundations of Cognition \ Speaker: Helen Davis, Harvard, Anthropology
    • Seminar Title: Vertical Polygyny in 20th Century America: Are Americans Monogamous or Polygamous? \ Speaker: Allen MacNeill, Cornell University
    • Seminar Title: The evolutionary ecology of monument construction: a Rapa Nui (Easter Island) case study \ Speaker: Robert “Beau” DiNapoli, Binghamton University, Anthropology

    Spring 2020

    •  Introductory lecture by David Sloan Wilson, Binghamton University
      Tinbergen's four questions and others
    • Introductory lecture by Barrett Brenton, Binghamton University
      Biocultural Evolution of Cuisine
    • Darwin Day Panel discussion with Binghamton faculty
    • Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, University of Buffalo:
      Modern human cranial variation: An evolutionary morphology approach
    • Daniel T. O’Brien, Northeastern University
      The Urban Commons: How Data, Technology, and Behavioral Science Can Help Us Rebuild Our Cities
    • Glenn Branch, National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
      Twists and Turns in Teaching Evolution over the Years  
    • Rolf Quam, EvoS Director, SUNY Binghamton
      The Evolution of Language: Part 1 
    •  Rolf Quam
      The Evolution of Language: Part 2 
    • David Sloan Wilson
      Nothing about the Coronavirus Pandemic Makes Sense Except In the Light of Evolution
    • Adam van Arsdale, Wellesley College
      Race, Ancestry, and Populations in the Pleistocene and the Present
    • Robert Pennock, Michigan State University
      An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Character of Science
    • Mark Urban, University of Connecticut
      Eco-evolution in communities