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Department of Biology


Official University Press Release 12/05/2008

ECU’s  Department of Biology is offering the public a chance to participate in Biologist Jason Bond’s naming of a new spider species.  Beginning December 10, and ending on February 4, the public can make donations to support scholarships for students conducting research in biodiversity at ECU. The individual or organization making the largest donation (over a reserve amount) will win the opportunity to name the next spider species.The winner will be announced at the department’s February 12 Open House and Darwin Day celebration.

If you are interested in sponsoring biodiversity research and education, and having the opportunity to name a new species of spider, please visit this website to make a donation and record your contact information (we will have to contact you if we need your spider name!).  When completing the form, please follow these instructions:  From the "Area to Apply Gift" menu, please select College of Arts and Sciences.  The fund you should select to apply your gift to should be Fund 1718000 - Biodiversity Research Fund (Spider Naming).   Alternatively you may contact the Department of Biology directly to make a donation, at (252) 328-6718. Detailed terms and conditions of donations and naming are here.

Whether making a donation or not, all are invited to attend ECU Biology’s Feb. 12 Open House and celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday. The department will offer tours of the Howell Science Complex on the ECU campus from 6-7:30 p.m., beginning outside of room B103. Tours will offer participants a chance to see and learn about spiders, fish embryos, bird behavior, exotic greenhouse plants, biotechnology and more.

At 7:30 p.m., in B103 Howell Science Complex, in his presentation on “Spiders, Biodiversity and the Future of Life,” Bond will discuss biology, the biodiversity crisis and the links between biodiversity and human welfare. Bond says human actions have a tremendous impact on the earth’s biodiversity and it is the small things that run the world’s ecosystems.

To conclude the event, the winning spider-naming donation will be announced, immediately followed by a reception with beverages and hors d’oeuvres, including edible insects.

Grade school teachers and students are especially encouraged to attend this free event, as well as all ECU  faculty, staff, students and alumni. Biology faculty also will offer workshops from 4-6 p.m. to elementary, middle and high school teachers on the topic of how to teach evolution in the classroom.

Teachers, students and community members are also encouraged to attend the Sallie Southall Cotten Lecture, in the Harriot College Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series,  entitled "Darwin's Legacy in Science and Society" and presented by Eugenie Scott, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. Details are here.