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Keynote speakers

Key note speakers

Victoria Sork

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Stephen Palumbi

Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, USA


Professor Victoria Sorkmaintains an active research program studying evolutionary and ecological processes in temperate and tropical tree populations. Her current focus is the evolution of local adaptation through studies of the genetic and epigenetic basis of traits that will allow long lived trees to tolerate rapid global warming. Author of more than 120 publications, her research addresses a range of related topics including gene flow, hybridization and introgression, landscape genomics, and phylogeography of California oaks. With funding from the National Science Foundation, she and her colleagues have generated a high-quality annotated genome of the California endemic oak, Quercus lobata, as a genomic resource for oak biologists around the world. Victoria is also active professionally as a senior associate editor for the highly ranked journal, Molecular Ecology. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Sciences and the California Academy of Sciences and was Wilhelmine Key Distinguished Lecturer for the American Genetics Association in 2016. She was recently honored in a Special Issue of the journal, Evolutionary Applications, featuring Women’s contribution to basic and applied evolutionary biology. She earned a B.S. from University of California Irvine and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Victoria has been a professor at UCLA since 2001 where she currently serves as Dean of Life Sciences in the UCLA College.
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Professor Stephen Palumbi has long been fascinated by how quickly the world around us changes. Work on the genomics of marine organisms tries to focus on basic evolutionary questions but also on practical solutions to questions about how to preserve and protect the diverse life in the sea. Steve has lectured extensively on human-induced evolutionary change, has used genetic detective work to identify whales, seahorses, rockfish and sharks for sale in retail markets, and is developing genomic methods to help find ocean species resistant to climate change. Work on corals in American Samoa has identified populations more resilient to heat stress. Work at the Hopkins Marine Station focuses on how sea urchins, abalone and mussels respond to short term environmental changes and to environmental shifts over small spatial scales.

Steve’s latest book for non-scientists is about the amazing species in the sea, written with Steve’s son and novelist Anthony. The Extreme Life of the Sea tells about the fastest species in the sea, and hottest, coldest, oldest etc. Steve's previous book, The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival, written with Carolyn Sotka, brought to life the unusual environmental success story of the recovery of Monterey Bay. Steve's first science book for non-scientists The Evolution Explosion explored how human accelerate evolutionary change in the species around us. Steve helped write, research and also appears in the BBC series The Future is Wild and the History Channel's World Without People. Other recent films appearances include The End of the Line, and the Canadian Broadcasting series One Ocean. Major work continues on the microdocumentary project, the Short Attention Span Science Theater. Steve's band Sustainable Soul has several songs out, including Crab Love and The Last Fish Left.


Page Manager: Eva Marie Rödström|Last update: 10/14/2019
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