Marlene Zuk - Paleofantasy: What evolution tells us about modern life


Turner Theatre,
Biosciences 2 Building
Or, online via Zoom


Professor Marlene Zuk (University of Minnesota) presents Paleofantasy: What evolution tells us about modern life, in this joint seminar with the School of Biosciences, History & Philosophy of Science and Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

Have human beings in modern society stopped evolving? Are our bodies and brains at odds with contemporary life? In other words, have we somehow freed ourselves from evolution?

Drawing from her book Paleofantasy, Professor Zuk will explain how popular theories about how our ancestors lived and – why we should emulate them – are often based on speculation, not scientific evidence, and that they reflect a basic misunderstanding about how evolution works. In reality, there was never a time when everything about us – our bodies, our minds, and our behaviour – was perfectly in sync with the environment.

This colloquium will be held in person, with the option to join via Zoom. No registration is required - please use the following link to join: (password if required: 667350).

About Professor Marlene Zuk

Professor Zuk is an evolutionary biologist and writer with a keen interest in animal behaviour and signalling, whose lab broadly researches sexual selection. Professor Zuk obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her PhD at the University of Michigan. She then completed postdoctoral research at the University of New Mexico and is now based at the University of Minnesota. Professor  Zuk uses invertebrate systems to understand the evolution of mating behaviour and secondary sexual characters in natural populations. She has also authored several books on evolution and animal behaviour and is an advocate for Women in Science.