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July 9, 2013

7th in our series of Wallace100 lectures.


Was there a link between Wallace's evolutionary thinking and his socio-political beliefs? Find out in this free lecture.




‘Wallace’s thought on nature, human nature and socialism’


Later in his life Wallace became a prominent social critic and campaigner for land nationalisation and socialism. This lecture explores the relationships between his evolutionary thinking and his socio-political views.






Ted Benton, Professor of Sociology, University of Essex



The Natural History Museum 8 August 16:30 – 17:30, Flett Events Theatre



As part of the Wallace100 celebrations taking place in 2013, the Natural History Museum will be hosting a monthly lecture series. These lectures are part of the Museum’s participation in Wallace100, an international programme of projects and events celebrating the centenary of Wallace’s death on 7 November 2013. At these monthly events, leading biologists and historians will discuss different aspects of Wallace’s life and work. The series also highlights the significance of the Museum as a focal point for Wallace collections and studies.


Wallace is best known for his role, with Darwin, in founding the theory of evolution by natural selection, but the two scientists' views on human evolution were very different.


Ted Benton is professor of Sociology at University of Essex. He has published extensively on philosophy, critical social theory and environmental politics. He is also a photographer and author of several books on entomology, including two works in the HarperCollins New Naturalist series.




Free tickets need to be booked in advance
Book tickets online
Doors open 16.00


Details of the event can also be found here:

Details of the Wallace100 celebrations can be found here:

Details of Wallace100 events taking place at the NHM can be found here:


Evolution of the diurnal moth group Dioptinae (Noctuidea: Notodontidae)


James Miller

American Museum of Natural History, New York


Wednesday 10 July 11:00

Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


The diverse moth subfamily Dioptinae, an exclusively Neotropical group, appears to have evolved from a nocturnal ancestor. Their evolution mirrors that of the butterflies in surprising detail, revealing a remarkable case of convergence.



For additional details on attending this or other seminars see


Cyanobacteria in Arctic and Antarctic freshwaters: their diversity and toxicity





Julia Kleinteich

Division for Genomics & Microbial Diversity, Dept. Life Sciences, NHM


Friday 12 July 11:00

Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic bacteria with a worldwide distribution. They thrive in extreme environments and represent the predominant primary producers in freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes of the high polar regions. Cyanobacterial mats are the nutritional basis and micro‐habitat for several other types of organisms (primarily proto‐ and metazoans). Because of their simple trophic structure and sensitivity to climate change, cyanobacterial mats are an ideal model system for the exploration of climate induced changes in the polar regions. Cyanobacteria also synthesize multiple secondary metabolites, some of which are toxic to most higher organisms, including humans. On a worldwide scale toxin production appears to be increasing, possibly as a consequence of a warming climate. Here we describe the diversity of cyanobacterial communities from the Arctic and the Antarctic using a combination of automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and 454-sequening. We also demonstrate that different cyanobacterial toxins (Saxitoxin, Microcystin, and Cylindrospermopsin) are present in these habitats; two cyanobacterial toxins were recorded for the first time by ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) and other analytical methods. We will also discuss results from temperature-controlled laboratory studies on cyanobacterial mats to evaluate the potential effect of climate change on polar cyanobacterial diversity and toxin production.



For additional details on attending this or other seminars see