SC Contributing Writer

Biologists constantly theorize as to how we can have so many species on the planet. Currently, there are an estimated 8.7 million separate species, some of which are very morphologically similar.

Dr. Amber Rice of Lehigh University has researched this subject and will present some of her findings at ESU on October 4, 2013, as part of the Biocolloquium Series.

The Biocolloquium is a set of talks and presentations sponsored by the biology department. The department invites biological experts, typically professors from other universities, to present some of their research and discoveries.

Dr. Rice’s presentation is the latest in this several-decade-long program, and the first of several for this semester.

Dr. Amber Rice is an assistant professor at Lehigh University and an expert on hybridization, species’ adaptations, speciation, and other similar biological concepts.

According to her personal page on the Lehigh University website, the goal of her research is “to understand the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying the process of speciation.”

Essentially, she studies how and why new species develop over time. Her research utilizes ecological and genetic principles together to reach conclusions on speciation.

Her numerous publications focus on population genetics, speciation, evolution, and character displacement across a multitude of species.

A complete list of her publications can be found on her personal page on the Lehigh University Website.

Specifically, the Biocolloquium on October 4 will outline her research with frogs and reptiles. It will take place at 4 PM in Kurtz Lecture Hall in Moore Biology.

Following her presentation, there will be a small “meet and greet” with Dr. Rice, where she can answer questions on an individual basis. The colloquium is open to any and all majors and ages.

Keep your eyes posted for upcoming Biocolloquiums. Articles previewing them will be published in the Stroud Courier.

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