Speaker: Dr Nick Lane, University College London.
All complex life on Earth shares a common ancestor that arose just once in 4 billion years of evolution. This didn't happen as a result of a change in environmental conditions but in a ‘freak accident’ in which one bacterium got inside another one, and eventually evolved in mitochondria, the ‘powerhouses’ of all complex cells. That released the energetic constraints that kept bacteria simple for 4 billion years, and enabled the evolution of enormous complexity in plants and animals.
Nick is the winner
of the Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010 for Life Ascending: The
Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. The book charted the history of life on
Earth by describing the ten greatest inventions of life, based on their
historical impact, their importance in living organisms and their iconic
The lecture is free but booking is essential to attend.
More information will appear on the School of Biological and Marine Sciences web pages in due course.