Scott Gilbert, Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, will speak as part of the Director’s Lecture Series at the Arnold Arboretum on Monday, April 8 beginning at 7 pm. What defines an individual? Can an animal be construed an individual if its anatomy, physiology, development, and even its immune systems depend on symbiotic microorganisms? What becomes of the genetic and evolutionary individual when inherited symbionts provide selectable variation for the host? Animal plus symbiont equalsâ€¦ what? Super-animal? Team? Holobiont? Have we been lumping and sorting erroneously only to learn through advances in biotechnology that individuals are really communities or, perhaps, relationships? Join us for a mind-bending presentation that may leave you reassessing your place in the biosphere.
Free, but registration requested at www.arboretum.harvard.edu.