May 12, “Dinornis, Dodos, and Ducks: A Bird’s-Eye View of Brain Evolution,” with Catherine M. Early, Ph.D. Birds are an incredibly diverse group of animals. And new research has shown that they are more intelligent than we ever imagined possible! But how did the diversity of behaviors and intelligence in birds evolve? Join Dr. Early for an overview of brain evolution in modern and fossil birds, and the exciting new techniques scientists are using to study this topic. She will also share updates on the latest activities in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Biology Department, which she leads.
Dr. Early earned a B.S, in Biological Sciences and a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University in 2012, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Ohio University in 2019. She has always loved natural history museums and has been affiliated with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, and the Florida Museum of Natural History before joining the Science Museum of Minnesota in 2020. She uses CT scanning to study the anatomy of modern and extinct animals, and works to digitize natural history collections so they can be shared with everyone.