Time Travel Safari

October 19, 2011 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Time Travel Safari

Adventures in the History of Life

Olivia Judson

Evolutionary Biologist and Science Writer

If you had a time machine, when would you go? Would you go back 65 million years, to see the extinction of the dinosaurs? Or perhaps 360 million years to see the fearsome Dunkelosteus, a predatory fish that puts most sharks to shame? Or would you turn the dial back 4 billion years, to find out how life began? Once you reached your destination, what would you eat, what might you wish you had packed? The celebrated science writer and television presenter Olivia Judson offers a guided time-travel tour of Earth, its past transformations and their present-day implications.

An honorary research fellow in evolutionary biology at Imperial College London, Olivia Judson is more popularly known as “Doctor Tatiana” in the wake of her award-winning international bestseller, Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation. Written in the form of a sex advice column for animals, the book was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, won the Zoological Society of London’s BIOSIS award for communicating zoology, and was made into a British television miniseries starring Judson herself.

Judson received her doctorate in biological sciences from Oxford University before joining the staff of The Economist, where she wrote about biology and medicine. She has since contributed to a wide variety of publications, including Nature, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and The Daily Telegraph. She also writes The Wild Side, a New York Times weekly blog on evolutionary biology. She has lectured at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Lausanne, the Royal Institution, and the Natural History Museum. In addition to evolutionary topics, she explores the intersection of science and society, focusing on such controversial issues as the actuarial use of DNA and the potential to grow human organs. Her latest book, Dinosaur Eggs for Breakfast, is due to be released this fall.