Evenings at Whitney October 12

Evenings at Whitney October 12

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, continues Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 7 p.m. with the program titled “Bones, stones, and DNA: A Nature editor’s-eye view of human evolution”. Luíseach Nic Eoin, Ph.D., Senior Editor at Nature Ecology and Evolution, 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


Human evolution is a complex and fast-moving topic that’s key to understanding who we are and where we come from. The past decade and a half have seen something of a molecular revolution in archaeology and palaeoanthropology that means we know more than ever about the complexities of the human family tree, but classic techniques of stone tool and fossil bone analysis remain key to discovery and interpretation. She’ll talk about who’s who, who’s where, who’s when, what we know, what we don’t know, and what we’d like to know.

But why is an editor—rather than a practicing research scientist—here to talk to you about human evolution? Luíseach will spend the first part of this talk explaining what exactly the job entails as an editor for arguably the most prestigious group of science journals in the world, discuss the pros and cons of scientific ‘gatekeeping’, share some exciting and some frankly odd discoveries from her inbox, and make a case that this perennially fascinating field where both stakes and tensions run high needs a bird’s eye view to make sense of it.

Luíseach Nic Eoin, Ph.D - Luíseach is a senior editor at the Nature Portfolio of journals, where she has worked on titles including Nature Ecology & Evolution and Nature Plants since 2016 and consulted at other journals within the group. She studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge, palaeolithic archaeology and palaeoanthropology at University College London, and worked on hunter-gatherer archaeology and heritage conservation in southern Africa for her doctorate from the University of Oxford. Her work commissioning, reading, and writing for Nature Ecology & Evolution takes her all over the world, but she is most often to be found at her desk in London reading manuscripts on topics ranging from animal communication to extraterrestrial ecology with a healthy dose of human evolution and palaeontology in between.