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Influential evolutionary biologist to deliver 3 lectures at OSU


World-renowned evolutionary biologist Dr. Robert Trivers, professor of anthropology and biological sciences at Rutgers University, will deliver a series of three lectures at Oklahoma State University on Thursday, September 15 through Friday, September 16.  The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are based on his recent work in self-deception and human evolutionary genetics.

Trivers is regarded as the founder of the field, applying the principles of natural selection to the study of social behavior.  He produced a series of groundbreaking theories in the 1970’s on reciprocal altruism, parental investment, and parent-offspring conflict upon which much of the rest of the field is now firmly anchored.  His more recent work on the adaptive nature of self-deception and intra-genomic conflict have widespread appeal and continue to push the field forward.  These works combine biology, psychology, anthropology and sociology, and have applications for personal and professional development as well.  His authored books on the topics include The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life and Genes in Conflict: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements.

The first lecture, “The Evolution of Self Deception,” will take place Thursday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. in room 416 of the Student Union.  This lecture complements Trivers’ extensive and groundbreaking work in the area of human social relationships.  His keynote address, “An Evening on Evolutionary Biology: An Overview Covering Feminism, Homosexuality, and Honor Killings,” will take place that evening at 7 p.m. in 106 Noble Research Center.  This lecture will provide an overview of the intricacies of human social behavior from a biological perspective.  Finally, Trivers will deliver a third lecture, “Recent Work in Human Evolutionary Genetics,” on Friday, September 16 at 3:30 p.m. in 103 Life Sciences West and will cover the recent advances in this exploding field. 

Trivers’ visit is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, the OSU Departments of Psychology, Integrative Biology, Philosophy, and Human Development & Family Science, and the Master of Public Health Program. 

For more information, email or call (405) 744-2914.  Additional information on Trivers can be found at his website: