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#650 Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test - Dr. Marlene Zuk

The Not Old - Better Show

Release Date: 07/22/2022

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The Not Old - Better Show

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Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test - Dr. Marlene Zuk

The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Science Interview Series

Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates interview series.  I’m Paul Vogelzang, and as part of our Smithsonian Associates Inside Science interview series, our guest today is Dr. Marlene Zuk.  Dr. Marlene Zuk is an evolutionary biologist studying the evolution of behavior, particularly sexual selection and communication. Dr. Zuk helped develop the idea that parasites and pathogens are instrumental in the evolution of sexual differences and has examined how behavior affects the rate of evolution.  Dr. Zuk will be appearing at Smithsonian Associates, so please check out our website for more details.

Our lively conversation today is about exploring animal behavior in all its glorious complexity; Dr. Marlene Zuk goes beyond the tired nature-versus-nurture debate to focus on the interaction between genes and the environment. Driving her investigation is a simple but essential question: How does behavior evolve?

Dr. Zuk addresses our questions by drawing from a wealth of research on animal behavior, including her own on insects. She shares stories of cockatoos that dance to rock music, ants that heal their injured companions, dogs that exhibit signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.  Dr Zuk has written the new book, creatively titled Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test: How Behavior Evolves and Why It Matters 

Dr. Marlene Zuk's new book, Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test: How Behavior Evolves and Why It Matters.  Available on Apple Books, HERE.

We will discuss Dr. Zuk’s insights into animal intelligence, mating behavior, disease-fighting capacity, and the diverse interactions between an organism’s genes and its environment—and Dr. Zuk urges us to consider how that same process applies to humans.

Please join me in welcoming to The Not Old Better Show Smithsonian Associates Inside Science interview series on radio and podcast Dr. Marlene Zuk.

My thanks to author and scientist Dr. Marlene Zuk for her generous time today.  Dr. Marlene Zuk will be appearing at the Smithsonian Associates and you can check out more details in our show notes today.  I thank you, my wonderful audience here on The Not Old Better Show. Please be well, be safe and let’s eliminate assault rifles.  Assault rifles are unnecessary and instill fear in our children and grandchildren in the very place they learn:  school.  Please let’s do this.  And, please, let’s talk about better.  The Not Old Better Show on radio and podcast.  Thanks, everybody, and we’ll see you next time.  Today's show is dedicated to the late Dr. Barry Sinervo...my favorite scientist.

For more information about Dr. Zuk's presentation at Smithsonian Associates, please click HERE:  https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/animal-behavior