Prof Marlene Zuk started her career impressively. As an undergraduate she coauthored a famous 1982 Science paper with William D Hamilton that introduced the idea of parasites driving the evolution of gaudy sexual ornaments. She has gone on to write numerous high profile papers on the mating behaviour of insects and the role of parasites in sex. For many years she was at the University of California (Riverside), until her move in 2012 to the University of Minnesota. She is a skilled science communicator, and her 2015 TED talk on sex in insects has been viewed over 1.5 millions times. She is also the author of four successful popular science books, the most recent of which, Paleofantasy (2013), reviews what evolution really tells us about modern human behaviour. She is currently finishing her fifth book, which is on evolution and behaviour. Marlene is well known for her role in promoting women in science. She was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017 and the U.S.A. National Academy of Sciences in 2019.
Given her impressive academic credentials, role as a science communicator and her work to make science accessible to all, Prof Marlene Zuk is the perfect speaker to wrap up the 2020 Ecology & Evolution Webinar series.