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Explore the Origins and Diversity of Animal Play

Gordon Burghardt, alumni distinguished service professor at the University of Tennessee, will speak on the fascinating topic of animal play Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Regis Room South.

This talk will explore the concept of play, how to identify it with improved criteria, provide videos demonstrating the amazing diversity of play types, and show how play is distributed in a modern phylogenetic framework emphasizing the surprising and ancient origins of play in turtles, lizards, frogs, fishes, and even invertebrates. Play is also a potentially important means of assessing captive animal welfare. Recently there has been a resurgence of scientific interest in play and its importance in our lives as well as those of other animals and some of these recent exciting ideas from around the world will be presented as well.

Submitted by: Dr. Michael Noonan, professor of biology and chair of animal behavior, ecology and conservation

Hear Internationally-Renowned Organic Chemist to Speak at Canisius College

The Canisius College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will welcome internationally-renowned organic chemist Phil S. Baran, PhD, to campus on Friday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center. Presented under the auspices of the Paul G. Gassman Memorial Seminar at Canisius College, Baran’s lecture is entitled “Studies in Natural Product Synthesis.” Professor Baran will give a second, research-based talk in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at 4 p.m. in HO107. Both events are free and open to the public.

Baran is the Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA and considered among the most brilliant of young organic chemists. Sometimes referred to as a “molecule magician” Baran specializes in creating complex molecules derived from natural resources. His particular expertise is to create rare and complex molecules, derived from life in the sea, using elegant and often environmentally-friendly methods with the aim of producing useful quantities of these potential medicines. To learn more about Baran, click here.

For more information on the Paul G. Gassman Memorial Seminar, contact Sarah E. Evans at Ext. 2342 or Jeremy L. Steinbacher at Ext. 2343 in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Submitted by: Jeremy Steinbacher, Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Learn About Cuba’s Future Lecture

Come listen to Keith Ellis, PhD, from Toronto’s Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association give a lecture about Cuba’s Future on Monday, March 23 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Science Hall Atrium.

Ellis is University of Toronto former Chair of the Latin American Studies Committee, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, award-winning author and poet, and translator  of such pillars of Cuban literature as José María Heredia, José Martí and Nicolás Guillén.

Lecture is co-sponsored by Latin American Studies and Department of Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures, and by the Latin America Solidarity Committee of WNY Peace Center.

For more information please contact Dr. Fernanda Astiz at or Dr. Terry Bisson at

Submitted by: Terry Bisson, PhD, professor, Mathematics & Statistics