Friday Harbor Laboratories

FHL Illg Distinguished Lectureship

Professor Stefan Bengtson, Swedish Museum of Natural History

July 2, 2015


Multicellularity in the history of life

Multicellularity has arisen many times during evolution, through different mechanisms and in different lineages. Of those lineages that survived, only a few have gone on to form advanced multicellularity: fungi, plants and animals. The fossil record reveals many evolutionary experiments in multicellularity, but it was not until the end of the Proterozoic, about 600 million years ago, that multicellular creatures started to play a major role in the biosphere. We will look at fossils from about two billion to half a billion years in age to learn how the exclusively microbial biosphere was eventually transformed into the kind that characterises today’s world. In particular, we will see new fossil evidence that throws light on one of Darwin’s greatest mysteries: the origin of animals.


Professor Stefan Bengtson works on early animal evolution, particularly from around the time of the Cambrian Explosion, about 550 million years ago. This involves studies of everything from skeletal remains to fossilized embryos.


The Illg Distinguished Lectureship is presented in honor of Professor Paul L. Illg, who made many contributions to FHL as a scientist, teacher, mentor and friend. Paul excelled as a faculty member of the UW Zoology Department from 1952-1982. An expert in the biology of crustaceans, he participated in many summer sessions at FHL. He invited world-renowned scholars to FHL to join him in teaching invertebrate biology and thus greatly enhanced the quality of the graduate program and research at the Laboratories. The lectureship endowment was established through memorial gifts from Paul's family, friends and colleagues.


San Juan Community Theater, 7:30 pm (no admission charge)



Jazz at the Labs

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Friday Harbor Laboratories will hold its 15th annual Jazz at the Labs this August. Please join us for a fabulous dinner in the FHL historic Dining Hall at 6:00 and prepare yourself for an evening of amazing music provided by the San Juan Jazz Quintet and Seattle's Jazz Coalescence. All proceeds from Jazz at the Labs will benefit the Friday Harbor Laboratories K-12 Science Outreach Program in the San Juan Island Elementary, Middle, and High Schools and the Spring Street International School. Reservations for the event are strongly recommended. We sell out! For reservations and more information, please call Friday Harbor Laboratories at 378-2165 ext. 0.


Photo: John Miller