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Event Manager: Mitchell Piercey

Phone: (02) 6201 9462

4:45 PM October 04, 2011
FOR Public
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Add to Calendar 04/10/2011 5:45 AM 04/10/2011 5:45 AM Australia/Sydney Frank Fenner, the evolution of virulence and the birth of Darwinian medicine

Pestilence, pandemics and climate change

About the speaker

Andrew Cockburn is Professor of Evolutionary Ecology and Director of the College of Medicine, Biology & Environment at the ANU, which he joined in 1983. He has a doctorate from Monash University and studies evolution in wild populations, exploiting unique features of Australian organisms to probe questions that would otherwise be inaccessible. He is best known for his research on marsupials in which males die shortly after mating, and fairy-wrens, which are the least faithful of all birds. He is the author of three books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His research has been honoured by numerous awards, including the Academy’s Gottschalk Medal, the Serventy Medal of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union, the Troughton Medal of the Australian Mammal Society and the Edgeworth David Medal of the Royal Society of NSW. He is the 2012 Tinbergen Lecturer of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

About the talk

One of the most remarkable features of Frank Fenner’s career was his ability to move from fundamental and applied biomedical research at the John Curtin School of Medical Research to found the multidisciplinary Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (now known as the Fenner School). This lecture will focus on another aspect of his immense contribution – his ability to think laterally and recognize that he had unwittingly performed an extremely significant replicated experiment on fundamental evolutionary biology. It will review his ability to grasp the significance of the coevolution between rabbits and the Myxoma virus, how that coevolution profoundly changed our view of the evolution of disease, and how fifty years on, a new branch of medicine is emerging from the perspective generated by Fenner’s experiment, with paradigm-changing implications for public health practice.

Shine Dome,9 Gordon Street Australian Capital Territory false DD/MM/YYYY

Contact Information

Event Manager: Mitchell Piercey

Phone: (02) 6201 9462

4:45 PM October 04, 2011

Frank Fenner, the evolution of virulence and the birth of Darwinian medicine

Pestilence, pandemics and climate change

About the speaker

Andrew Cockburn is Professor of Evolutionary Ecology and Director of the College of Medicine, Biology & Environment at the ANU, which he joined in 1983. He has a doctorate from Monash University and studies evolution in wild populations, exploiting unique features of Australian organisms to probe questions that would otherwise be inaccessible. He is best known for his research on marsupials in which males die shortly after mating, and fairy-wrens, which are the least faithful of all birds. He is the author of three books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His research has been honoured by numerous awards, including the Academy’s Gottschalk Medal, the Serventy Medal of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union, the Troughton Medal of the Australian Mammal Society and the Edgeworth David Medal of the Royal Society of NSW. He is the 2012 Tinbergen Lecturer of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

About the talk

One of the most remarkable features of Frank Fenner’s career was his ability to move from fundamental and applied biomedical research at the John Curtin School of Medical Research to found the multidisciplinary Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (now known as the Fenner School). This lecture will focus on another aspect of his immense contribution – his ability to think laterally and recognize that he had unwittingly performed an extremely significant replicated experiment on fundamental evolutionary biology. It will review his ability to grasp the significance of the coevolution between rabbits and the Myxoma virus, how that coevolution profoundly changed our view of the evolution of disease, and how fifty years on, a new branch of medicine is emerging from the perspective generated by Fenner’s experiment, with paradigm-changing implications for public health practice.

Shine Dome,9 Gordon Street Australian Capital Territory

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