Queen's University

Student display illustrates our evolutionary ecology

 
2009-11-30

Seventy-five posters designed by students in a biology course offered at Queen’s will be on display in the Biosciences Atrium from Monday, Nov. 30 to Friday, Dec 4. The posters cover a wide range of topics dealing with the application of evolutionary thinking to human affairs.

“The purpose of the atrium display is to draw attention to these important issues for the rest of the Queen's community,” says Lonnie Aarssen, the biology professor who leads the course. “As a group, the posters serve as a grand, inspiring display for the entire class, and helps students assess whether our evolution, as a species, has equipped us to respond effectively to the converging catastrophes of the 21st century.”

The popular course for third- and fourth-year undergraduates, titled Evolutionary Ecology of Humans, developed by Professor Aarssen explores how evolutionary thinking affects our understanding of our lives, our species and our ability to share the planet with other species.

“When designing their posters students were encouraged to consider one or all of the following: how evolutionary thinking can be applied to help explain the current challenges faced by human societies; how this journey might inform our understanding of human nature or human culture; and how these effects could define the future direction of our civilization,” adds Professor Aarssen.

Only the top posters make it into the final display. The posters were graded relative to each other based on a range of criteria related to effectiveness in capturing and holding the reader’s attention visually, informing the reader with accurate information that includes enough but not too much detail, and inspiring or challenging the reader with an intriguing ‘take-home’ message. 

For more information on the Evolutionary Ecology of Humans course, click here.

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