Public outreach is one of the most important conduits to connect science and society, instilling a greater sense of appreciation for science and promoting biological literacy. It is also such a rewarding aspect of my job. Working with the public allows me to get others excited about science, share my research with new inquiring minds, and encourage youth to pursue higher education. It's really a win-win situation!
I am happy to announce that I have been invited to speak at the 2016 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Darwin Day! My talk is entitled, "Breathing life into fossils: living fishes and salamanders provide clues to the evolutionary invasion of land", and will demonstrate how biomechanics serves as a crucial tool in bringing fossils back to life. No, not in a Jurassic Park sort of way. Rather, to use what we know about living animals to model how fossil animals might have lived. This will be one of the kick-off lectures to the keynote address by Neil Shubin!
More information about the 2016 UTK Darwin Day can be found here: http://darwindaytn.org/.