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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 14, 2010
PHOTO: John Logsdon (right), UI associate professor of biology, poses with a Charles "Chuck" Darwin (left).
Birds do it, bees do it, we do it; but why? UI lecture explores sexual reproduction

"Sex is both complex and dangerous, so why do we and almost all other species do it?" asks John Logsdon, University of Iowa associate professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Evolutionary biologists really aren't sure, but Logsdon plans to tackle the issue in a UI Explorers Lecture sponsored by the Museum of Natural History on Thursday, Oct. 21.  The 7 p.m. lecture will take place in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub in Macbride Hall and is free and open to the public.
Logsdon, a molecular evolutionary biologist, will describe the molecular natural history of sexual reproduction. His particular focus will be on meiosis, a special cell division necessary for sex, but he will also examine various biological systems, including some that defy the typical rules of sexual biology. His research is aimed at answering several key questions: When did sex and meiosis arise? How and from what previous functions did these processes derive? How has sex subsequently evolved? What do these answers tell us about why and how sex persists?
Logsdon’s lecture is a part of the UI Explorers Lecture series sponsored by the Museum of Natural History. Next up in the series: Nancy A. Budd, professor of geosciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will lecture on Nov. 18. For more information on the series visit
The Museum of Natural History is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information about the museum, visit, call 319-335-0480, or email
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606,; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037,; Writer: Brett Janecek