Carl Zimmer, author of The New York Times column “Matter,” will give a lecture on Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Southwestern University, followed by a reception and book signing.

The lecture, titled “Masters of Evolution,” will be based upon evidence that life has evolved on Earth for over 3.5 billion years, transformed into an awesome pageant—from luminescent squid to cloud-dwelling bacteria to bipedal apes that can build spaceships. Until now, the forces that have driven evolution have been natural—from droughts to drifting continents. But now we humans have emerged as a major evolutionary force. We are driving natural selection into overdrive, fostering the emergence of new species, and pushing old species toward extinction. Scientists are only starting to reckon with our evolutionary power, but it’s clear that our own survival depends on managing it.

Zimmer’s writing focuses on the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. In addition to his books, Zimmer has written hundreds of articles for magazines including National Geographic, Time, Scientific American, Science, and Popular Science. He is also a frequent guest on radio programs such as Radiolab and This American Life.

The lecture is sponsored by the department of Environmental Studies, Mellon Foundation and the Anthropocene Paideia Cluster. For more information contact Laura Hobgood, Professor of Religion, at