Third annual Darwin Day keynote address set for Wednesday, Feb. 9

Zoologist Michael Blouin to present "Evolution in Captivity: Fitness of Hatchery and Wild Salmon"

Pacific University's 2011 celebration of Darwin Day on Wednesday, Feb. 9 will feature a presentation from zoologist Michael Blouin, Ph.D., at 6:30 p.m. in room 223 of Jefferson Hall on the Forest Grove campus.

Dr. Blouin's talk, "Evolution in captivity: Fitness of Hatchery and Wild Salmon" is free and open to the public.

Blouin, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University, studies basic and applied evolutionary genetics in animals. He has developed methods to reconstruct family trees of wild populations, allowing for better study of the species, some of which are endangered or threatened.

His recent work focuses on host-parasite interactions involving a pathogenic trematode that can infect humans, and on evolution in captive breeding programs for salmonid fishes.

Blouin will present the results from his studies of salmon hatcheries. He has discovered that hatchery-reared salmon have evolved in ways that lower their survival and reproduction in the wild. These effects persist in their offspring, even if they grow up in the wild. His results have attracted national media attention because they raise questions about the benefits of captive breeding programs.

Celebrated around the world on or near Charles Darwin's birthday anniversary (Feb. 12, 1809), Darwin Day fosters education about the scientific method, our current understanding of evolutionary biology and the role of evolution in society.

Pacific University’s 2011 Darwin Day focuses on the relationship between evolution and conservation.

For more information, please contact Associate Professor Stacey Halpern at

Posted by Joe Lang ( on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Edited by Stephanie Haugen ( on May 3, 2012 at 1:38 PM

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