2023 Kingman Lecture to Focus on Dinosaurs

   Campus News | Posted on February 16, 2023

The third annual Robert & Lillis Kingman Lecture Series on Science & Society will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with featured speaker Mary Higby Schweitzer, PhD. Her talk, titled “Dinosaurs under the Microscope,” will provide insight into her research on fossils, molecules and their journey through time. The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University.

Schweitzer is a professor in the Department of Biological Science at North Carolina State University. She is interested in what makes animals survive and thrive in their worlds, studying the interplay of inherent biology and the world. As a paleontologist, she seeks to recover and decipher data collected from ancient animals in the rock record.

Schweitzer has been a leader in the discovery of dinosaur proteins, blood vessels and plausibly DNA inside fossilized bones, which raises provocative questions about the conditions and processes that lead to exquisite preservation of tissues and molecules in fossils considered to be very old. Some of her other interests include molecular diagenesis and taphonomy, the evolution of physiological and reproductive strategies in dinosaurs and their bird descendants, and astrobiology. She is a prolific writer and has published her research in several scientific journals.

The Robert & Lillis Kingman Speaker Series on Science & Society, which aims to bring significant speakers in science and mathematics onto campus, was established in 2019. The inaugural speaker was David Reitze, PhD, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. In 2021, the featured speaker was Eugenia Cheng, PhD, scientist-in-residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and honorary Visiting Fellow of the City, University of London.

The Kingman family has a long history at Andrews University. Robert Kingman, PhD, received his master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Arizona, Tucson, where his dissertation was titled “On the spatial distribution of clusters and galaxies.” Kingman taught in the Andrew’s University Department of Physics and served as chair of the department for more than 40 years by the time of his retirement. During this time, he implemented faculty home vespers, which have since become important social and spiritual gatherings for the community.

The Howard Performing Arts Center is a premier 850-seat concert hall on the campus of Andrews University. Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 150 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.

   Jeff Boyd