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Sir Peter Crane FRS, University of Chicago

Chaired by Professor Charles Godfray FRS

Flowers are such a ubiquitous and familiar part of our modern world that it is easy to take them for granted. But as Darwin recognized, the exquisite details of their structure and appearance have been shaped by evolutionary processes over millions of years. This lecture will explore current ideas on the evolution of flowers based on new information from living plants as well recent discoveries in the fossil record. Questions that are currently a focus of active research and that will be addressed in the lecture include: Where did flowers come from? What were the earliest flowers like? What have been the major innovations in flower evolution over the past 100 million years? And, returning to a question of great interest to Darwin, how has the evolution of flowers and their pollinators been linked across evolutionary time?

Sir Peter Crane is the former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and is currently a Professor at the University of Chicago. His research interests involve the integration of studies of living and fossil plants, in order to understand large-scale patterns and processes of plant evolution.

This lecture is free - no ticket or advanced booking required. Doors open at 5.45pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.