Voltaire's Coffee: Moon Draper, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Integrative Biology; Fall 2009


Thu, August 27, 2009 | This VC will be held on campus in the Joynes Suite, Carothers 007.

7:00 PM

A Primate's Memoir by Robert Sapolski, led by Moon Draper, PhD, Professor of Natural Sciences.

About the book: A Primate’s Memoir documents Sapolsky's years in Kenya studying baboons as a graduate student. The chapters alternate between describing observations of a troop of baboons and the wildly different culture in Africa that he is increasingly cognizant of. The book portrays an unconventional way of studying neurophysiology to determine the effects of stress on life expectancy. The book was nominated for the The Aventis Prizes for Science Books in 2002.

About the professor: Dr. Draper teaches Plan II Biology, Advanced Genetics for the Dean's Scholar's honors students, Vertebrate Neurophysiology and Molecular Genetics. In the spring of 2010 he will introduce a new Junior Seminar that will look at the efforts to conserve wildlands in Costa Rica. It will involve both science and public policy, requiring that students consider many aspects of the issue including economics, sociology, ecotourism, and anthropology. He grew up in an isolated farming community and left to study languages and classics at a small liberal arts college in New England. From there he went to England and earned a degree in engineering (electrical and computer). After travelling a bit, he moved to California and started a small consulting company. Before coming to Texas, Dr. Draper studied and earned degrees in geology, geography, environmental sciences, field biology, and medicine from schools in California, Rhode Island, and Australia. After defending a PhD dissertation in molecular neurobiology, he left to teach in New Zealand but returned to Austin to teach at UT. He is known to race sailboats for fun and eat slow running freshman that come too close to his office door.

Sponsored by: Plan II Students Association and Plan II Honors Program

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