Madagascar topic of Oct. 27 lecture at Burpee Museum

Staff Report

Northern Illinois University biological sciences professor Dr. Karen Samonds will present “Madagascar: Researching the Mystery behind Its Modern Fauna,” at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, at Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St.

Samonds’ talk will prove to be a travelogue to one of the most beautiful islands of the world, including extremely remote sections of the island. She will also share details of her current research.

Madagascar is known for its highly endemic and often bizarre plants and animals. However, the details of how, when and from where its modern animals arrived remains largely a mystery.

Through paleontological reconnaissance and by investigating spatial and temporal variation within the context of major geologic and oceanographic conditions, Dr. Samonds has begun to unravel this mystery. This work strongly supports the importance of transoceanic dispersal by wind and water as the vehicles whereby most of Madagascar’s living groups became established.

Dr. Samonds holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Stony Brook University. Previously, she taught at Mount Holyoke College, McGill University, and University of Queensland, Australia.

Admission to the lecture is free for museum members; free with paid admission ($8 adults; $7 ages 4-12; and free for ages 3 and younger) to the museum; or $5 for the lecture only.

Visit or call (815) 965-3433 for more details.

From the Oct. 23-29, 2013, issue

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