Retired Faculty Association Presents: My Research Is My Hobby and Recreation with Professor Jeff Mitton

The Retired Faculty Association welcomes Jeff Mitton, Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with his presentation titled My Research is My Hobby and Recreation.

About the Presentation 

Annoyed by science illiteracy and denial of evolution and climate change, I began an outreach effort of writing science columns 22 years ago. My columns describe the noteworthy science of colleagues or the natural history of plants and animals that we see when hiking in the mountains or the canyons. Knowing some of the unique adaptations of plants and animals to their environments enrichens camping and hiking experiences--a fun way to gain an appreciation for science. I will attempt to demonstrate and share the fun by addressing some questions taken up in the columns. What is the largest living organism on earth? How have packrats helped biogeographers document the movement of plant communities in the last 40,000 years? Which local plant kills all pollinating species that visit except for one bee species-- how and why? Are the striking colors and patterns of butterflies whimsical, or functional? I am going to summarize 4 groups of columns: Wildflowers, Aspen, Butterflies, Packrats (and maybe Beavers). 


Jeff Mitton grew up in the Garden State, received a BA degree from the University of Connecticut, a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, and joined the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 1974. He is an evolutionary geneticist and has employed marine fishes, mussels, western trees, salamanders, and bark beetles to document natural selection and evolution in contemporary populations. In 2000, Mitton started a science column entitled "Natural Selections" that appears in the Boulder Daily Camera and in CU's Arts and Sciences Magazine. This effort is a form of outreach that combines his curiosity as a naturalist, his hobby of photography, and his enjoyment of camping and exploring the mountains in Colorado and the canyons of the Colorado Plateau. In addition, many of the columns describe research based in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Tuesday, February 14 at 7:30pm

Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE), Chancellor's Hall

Event Type



Students, Faculty, General Public, Staff

College, School & Unit

Academic Affairs



FREE and open to the public

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