Evenings at Whitney May 11

Evenings at Whitney May 11

Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series continues Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 7 p.m. with the program titled “The Evolution of Two Transmissible Cancers in Tasmanian Devils”. Max Stammnitz, PhD, EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Genomic Regulation, will be the speaker.

This free lecture will be presented in person at the UF Whitney Laboratory Lohman Auditorium, 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard, in St. Augustine. Those interested also have the option of registering to watch via Zoom live the night of the lecture.

Register to watch online:


Tasmanian devils are the world's largest carnivorous marsupials and endemic to the Australian island state of Tasmania. Over the past three decades, the species has been undergoing a substantial population decline – leading to its categorization as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List in 2008. This is mainly due to mysterious outbreaks of at least two independent Devil Facial Tumour Diseases (DFTs), clonal lineages of transmissible cancer cells that “metastasise” between devils across the island. In this lecture, Dr. Stammnitz will discuss his team’s latest research efforts to characterize the genetics of Tasmanian devils and their malignant DFT cells, and how these insights may help us in guiding future conservation efforts to preserve this iconic species.

The evolution of two transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils in the journal Science

Max Stammnitz, PhD

Max Stammnitz has recently completed his PhD as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, following an MPhil degree in Computational Biology from the Cambridge Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Throughout his graduate studies, Dr. Stammnitz has used whole genome sequencing techniques to study unusual animal cancer types. He is now working as an EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain.