Passenger pigeons were once the most common birds in North America, but by 1914 they were extinct. Their extinction was caused solely by humans: hunting and habitat disturbances. What if they could be brought back from extinction? How could it be done? How might they live again?
Find out first-hand from the researcher whose work on these questions has attracted recent attention from National Geographic and Audubon magazines.
Speaking at the Pacific Grove Museum, Ben Novak will address misconceptions and misunderstandings of passenger pigeon natural history. And he will discuss the status of his current research, sequencing the DNA of passenger pigeons from museum specimens.
Ben Novak is a graduate student at McMaster University and U.C. Santa Cruz. At U.C.S.C. he has joined the paleogenomics lab of Beth Shapiro. There he is refining the sequencing of passenger pigeon DNA and comparing it with the DNA of the extinct bird's closest relative, the band-tailed pigeon.
Admission is free for Museum Members; $5 for the general public (pay at door).
Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 3:00pm