March 24, 2008
08-059

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

26th Annual Connell Lecture Held March 26

VALDOSTA - The Department of Biology will host the 26th Annual Connell Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in Whitehead Auditorium.

Held in honor of the late Dr. C. Eugene Connell, the event will feature Dr. Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University, who is known for her controversial discovery of soft tissue protein, specifically collagen, in a 68 million-year-old t-rex fossil bone. The amino acid sequence found resembled that of chicken collagen, which provides further evidence for the evolutionary connection between birds and dinosaurs.

Schweitzer, who also studies fossil preservation and the evolution of dinosaur and bird reproductive strategies, will share her discovery in a presentation titled “Tyrannosaurus rex under the microscope: a new look at an old dinosaur.”

The event and a dessert reception to follow are free to the public. Parking is available at the University Center and behind the University Bookstore on Brookwood Drive.

The Clyde Eugene Connell Visiting Lecturer Program became the first endowed visiting lecturer program at Valdosta State University in 1980, when the colleagues of Dr. Connell provided the funding to honor his retirement. Connell was a Naylor, Ga. native and VSU alumnus who returned to VSU in 1958 for a 22-year career, after receiving M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Ecology from the University of Georgia. After serving as biology department head and capturing many accolades, the professor retired in 1980 and passed away in 1985.

The Connell Visiting Lecturer Program continues to be supported by private gifts. Tax-deductible contributions can by made to the Valdosta State University Foundation, the Department of Biology or the Office of Business and Finance, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698.

For more information about the 26th Annual Connell Lecture call assistant professor Dr. Archna Bhasin at (229) 333-5768 or e-mail her at abhasin@valdosta.edu . For more information about Schweitzer’s research, visit http://www.meas.ncsu.edu/faculty/schweitzer/schweitzer.htm .