Discovery Lecture

The Faculty of Science hosts public lectures during the academic year that address a scientific issue of the day as well as bring to campus well-known scientists from around the world.

Established in 2002, the Discovery Lecture is designed to showcase and promote excellence in science journalism. The lecture is sponsored jointly by the Faculty of Science and the School of Journalism.

The lecture is held annually in the winter semester and is free and open to the public.

2018 Discovery Lecture


Thursday, February 1, 2018
7 pm
Richcraft Hall Atrium, Carleton University

Dinosaurs, the most successful group of reptiles of all time, evolved a startling diversity of dental and jaw systems for acquiring and processing their food. In this talk, I will focus on how dinosaurs modified their teeth (including their anatomy, development, and replacement) in order to cope with different food resources. For example, theropods evolved specialized serrated teeth to cope with their prey, ranging from the large tyrannosaurid to the diminutive Velociraptor. Other dinosaurs evolved multiple mechanisms for grabbing and chewing plant materials. In fact, most dinosaurs were plant eaters, and the hadrosaurs show the most spectacular dental modifications, including dental batteries of 1200 teeth in a single individual.

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Robert Reisz

Distinguished University Professor of Paleontology
University of Toronto, Mississauga

Robert Reisz is a leading authority on the initial stages of amniote evolution and the organisms that eventually gave rise to living mammals, reptiles, and birds. He has studied early reptiles globally, but has also explored other crucial events in vertebrate evolution, like the early stages of dinosaur evolution, and dinosaur embryology.
He is currently Distinguished Professor of Paleontology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He also holds research associate positions in 6 major natural history museums, distinguished professorships in other universities, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Reisz’s discoveries and field work have been widely featured in textbooks, scientific magazines, and have been popularized and disseminated to the lay public globally through numerous interviews on national and international media.

Previous lectures, 2002-present

A Quirky Past, An Uncertain Future (2017)
André Picard

The New Communication Climate (2016)
Andrew Revkin

How to Build a Robot Brain: From Artificial Intelligence to Emotional Intelligence (2015)
Dr. Angelica Lin

Truth, An Inconvenience (2012)
Jay Ingram

Darwinian Evolution: From Conception to Misconception (2009)
Dr. Andrew M. Simons

Evolution and Its Causes (2009)
Dr. Charles Goodnight

The Darwin Beat: Dispatches From the Frontiers of Evolution (2008)
Carl Zimmer

Can Animals Think? (2007)
Jay Ingram
Host, Discovery Channel, Daily Planet

And Now For the Weather (2006)
David Phillips
Senior Climatologist, Environment Canada

Cold As Ice: Canadian Know A Lot About Cold .... Or Do We? (2005)
Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht
Professor of Thermophysiology, University of Manitoba

Future Fantasy: Turning Dreams Into Reality (2004)
Bob MacDonald
Host, CBC Quirks and Quarks

Science, Non-Science and Nonsense from Aliens to Creationism (2003)
Dr. Lawrence Krauss
mbrose Swassey Professor of Physics, Case Western University

Hey! There Are Cockroaches In My Chocolate Ice Cream (2002)
Dr. Joe Schwarcz
McGill Office for Chemistry and Society