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The Paul Illg Distinguished Lectureship will present Dr. Sheila Patek as their 2011 speaker

The Paul Illg Distinguished Lectureship will present Dr. Sheila Patek as their 2011 speaker.  - Contributed photo
The Paul Illg Distinguished Lectureship will present Dr. Sheila Patek as their 2011 speaker.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The Paul Illg Distinguished Lectureship will present Dr. Sheila Patek as their 2011 speaker.

Patek will present a talk entitled,“Evolutionary mechanics of movement and communication in the sea” on Tuesday, June 21, 7 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theatre.

She is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The speaker received her Bachelor of Arts with honors in Biology from Harvard University.

She also has a Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University.

Patek was awarded a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of California, Berkeley.

She has received several honors, including the George A. Bartholomew Award for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology and the Brilliant 10 award from Popular Science magazine, which is awarded annually to ten of the “most dynamic, promising young researchers at institutions around North America” by Popular Science magazine.

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Hellman Family Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

Patek’s research program focuses on the biomechanics, behavior and evolution of fast movements and underwater acoustics.

“From mantis shrimp hammers to spiny lobster violins, the same underlying principles guide the interplay between evolutionary variation and the rules of physics,” she said, explaining her work. “For example, derived from a single mechanical system, the mantis shrimp’s (Stomatopoda) fast predatory appendages have diversified across hundreds of species into tools ranging from hammers to hatchets.”

This endowed lecture series is presented in honor of Professor Paul L. Illg, who was a scientist, teacher, and mentor. Illg served as a faculty member of the University of Washington Zoology Department from 1952 to 1982.

As an expert in the biology of crustaceans, he participated in many summer sessions at Friday Harbor Laboratories and invited world-renowned scholars to teach invertebrate biology. The lectureship endowment was established through memorial gifts from Illg’s family, friends and colleagues.

For more information about this and other events visit http://depts.washington.edu/fhl/events.html.

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