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Media Advisory 18-013

Media invited to NSF for distinguished lecture with evolutionary biologist Sheila Patek

Duke University researcher to discuss the evolutionary dynamics and interdisciplinary principles of extreme biological movement

Evolutionary biologist Sheila Patek

Evolutionary biologist Sheila Patek

November 1, 2018

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences invites media and members of the public to a distinguished lecture series with Sheila Patek of Duke University. From the extraordinarily powerful acceleration of the mantis shrimp's hammer-like claws to the superfast jaws of trap-jaw ants, Patek studies, among other things, the mechanics of animal motion and will discuss how this translates into human-designed and engineered systems.


WHO: NSF-funded biologist Sheila Patek leads a research group at Duke University that probes the dynamic interplay between evolutionary processes and physics in two broad systems: evolutionary physiology of communication in the sea and the evolutionary dynamics of fast animal movements. Her group's work provides innovative insights into human-designed and engineered systems. Patek regularly presents her research internationally through media appearances and academic and public lectures, including a mainstage TED Talks.

WHAT: NSF distinguished lecture: "From fast to ultrafast: Evolutionary dynamics and interdisciplinary principles of extreme biological movement."

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1 p.m. ET

WHERE: National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Virginia 22314

RSVP:Media who plan to attend the lecture must contact Ivy Kupec at or (703) 292-8796. Patek will be available for media interviews directly after the lecture.

For those who cannot attend in person, the lecture will be webcast live at


Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, email:

Program Contacts
Tara Bracken, NSF, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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