Science Lecture Series

The Science Lecture Series at Otterbein University was established in 1987 under the leadership of Dr. Philip Barnhart, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Dr. Jerry Jenkins, Chair of the Department of Chemistry. The George W. and Mildred K. White Science Seminar Fund sponsors the annual scientific seminars. Through these seminars, national leaders in science and technology share their insights about the future of scientific endeavor.

The Science Lecture Series is coordinated by a committee, chaired by the Office of Academic Affairs and comprised of the Science Outreach Coordinator and representatives from the Science Division, including the departments of Chemistry, Equine Science, Psychology, Nursing, Physics and Astronomy, Life and Earth Sciences, and Mathematical and Computer Sciences.

2022 Science Lecture Speaker: Dr. Tyrone Hayes

The George W. and Mildred K. White Science Lecture Series at Otterbein University will present a free public lecture by Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Professor of integrative biology at the University of California. 

Title: From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men
When: 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022
Where: Fritsche Theatre, Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St.

The lecture should be followed by a reception in Roush Hall.

Hayes is a professor of integrative biology at the University of California – Berkeley. His research focuses on the role of steroid hormones in amphibian development and he conducts both laboratory and field studies in the U.S. and Africa. His two main areas of interest are metamorphosis and sex differentiation, but Hayes is also interested in growth (larval and adult) and hormonal regulation of aggressive behavior.

His work addresses problems on several levels including ecological, organismal, and molecular questions. In his work on metamorphosis, he studies a local toad (Bufo boreas). Studies examine the effects of temperature on developmental rates, interactions between the thyroid hormones and steroids, and hormonal regulation of skin gland development. Hayes is also examining the effects of tadpole density on developmental rates and measuring metamorphic rates and hormone levels of tadpoles in the field and in the laboratory. His work on sex differentiation involves the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), the Japanese kajika (Buegeria buegeri), and the Pine Barrens treefrog (Hyla femoralis). While Xenopus serves as a good model because of its availability, the latter two species have genetically distinguishable sexes. He can therefore examine early events in gonad differentiation, steroid enzyme activities, steroid receptors, etc., knowing the genetic sex of the individual larvae.

Currently, Hayes is also examining the effects of exogenous steroids on gonadal differentiation and the potential role of endogenous steroids. His main goal is to synthesize ecological/evolutionary, organismal/physiological, and biochemical/molecular studies to learn how an animal translates changes in its external environment to internal changes, how these internal changes are coordinated, what molecular mechanisms are involved, and in turn, how changes at the molecular level affect an animal’s ability to adapt to the changes in its external environment.

About the George W. & Mildred K. White Science Lecture Series at Otterbein

Established in 1987, the George W. and Mildred K. White Science Lecture Series at Otterbein University sponsors annual scientific seminars that bring national leaders in science and technology to campus to share their insights about the future of scientific endeavor. Past speakers have included Dr. Robert Grubbs, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Dr. Tina Henkin, 2006 winner of the National Academies of Science Pfizer Prize; Dr. Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and renowned experimental psychologist; Dr. Andrea Ghez, an international expert in observational astrophysics; Dr. Sean B. Carroll, a leading voice of evolutionary science in the U.S.; animal behaviorist Dr. Steve Nowicki; and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. William D. Phillips.