Faculty Lecture Series Continues with Luana Maroja

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 23, 2017—Luana Maroja, associate professor of biology at Williams College, will give the fourth lecture in the 2017 Faculty Lecture Series titled “It Is Just Not Cricket — Adventures in at Species Boundaries.” The talk will be held on March 2, at 4:15 p.m. in Wege Auditorium in the Thompson Chemistry building. The talk is free and open to the public, with a reception in Schow Auditorium immediately following the talk.

Maroja’s lecture will discuss the concept of species as defined entities, and question how we can better understand speciation and the changes that take part in the biological process. She will explain how many closely related species can freely exchange their genome without losing their identity, and describe how her work with crickets can help answer questions about genetic changes in species.

Maroja has been working at Williams since 2010, and she currently teaches classes in genetics and evolution. She specializes in evolutionary genetics, and recently received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to research two projects: “Speciation Phenotypes, Chromosomal Rearrangements, and Genomic Patterns of Divergence in a Young Drosophila Species Complex” and “The Importance of Sex-Chromosomes in Speciation: Are Genes That Do Not Introgress Concentrated on the X Chromosome?” Her most recent papers have been published in Nature, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, and BMC Evolutionary Biology. Maroja has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

The Faculty Lecture Series was founded by 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt and the current chair of the series is Keith McPartland, associate professor of philosophy. The next speaker is art professor Amy Podmore, who will discuss “Finding Elsa” on March 9. The final talk is March 16 with physics professor Frederick Strauch.

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