MBL | Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Contact UsDirectionsText SizeSmallMediumLarge

Resources for Reporters:

MBL Publications:

Join the Conversation:
Facebook Twitter Youtube Wordpress

Nobel Laureates

press releases

For further MBL News and Media Information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

MBL Associates Coffee To Explore "Evolutionary Scandal"

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Associates invite the public to join them for a Coffee and Conversation with Dr. David Mark Welch, assistant scientist in the MBL’s Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, on Thursday, March 22 at 9:30 AM in the Meigs Room, located in the Swope Center, MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture, titled “An Evolutionary Scandal Exposed: the Ecology, Genomics, and Evolution of Bdelloid Rotifers” is part of a series of free, informal morning presentations about research in the biological sciences. Refreshments will be served.

Dr. Mark Welch will speak about his research on bdelloid rotifers, a group of microscopic animals that, to the amazement of biologists, appear to have given up sex tens of millions of years ago, yet the organism has evolved into 370 described species. They are the most successful group of animals to have evolved without sexual reproduction and meiosis, and, as a result, have been labeled an "evolutionary scandal" by the late evolutionary biologist, John Maynard Smith.

While many hypotheses have addressed this quandary, the paradox raises one of the most perplexing questions in biology: If asexual reproduction is more efficient than sexual reproduction, why does sexual reproduction predominate so thoroughly? Dr. Mark Welch’s research may help scientists come closer to an answer.

In this lecture, Dr. Mark Welch will explore the natural history of bdelloids and present recent findings from comparative genomics that, together with their ecology and physiology, may explain the extraordinary success of these ancient animals.

Dr. Mark Welch received his B.A. from Earlham College and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He began his career at the MBL in 2001 following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard. In addition to his research activities at the MBL, Dr. Mark Welch also serves as an assistant professor in the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences

Parking for this Coffee and Conversation is available in the MBL’s Bar Neck Road parking lot, located two blocks from the Swope Center on Bar Neck Road. Registration is requested by calling the MBL Associates Office at 508-289-7281.

### —

The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical, and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu

Since 1944, the MBL Associates has promoted the scientific mission of the MBL. The group supports the Annual Fund, provides a formal connection for anyone interested in learning about the institution, and sponsors gifted students and promising young investigators. Members also raise funds for special projects and organize educational and cultural programs for the MBL and the community. In addition, they operate the MBL Associates Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.