Illinois State University professor Rachel Bowden of Ecological Physiology will give a Distinguished Professor Lecture titled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (Determination) but Were Afraid to Ask.”
The Distinguished Professor Lecture will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Bowden has received more than $1.6 million in funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health in support of her work on red-eared slider turtles.
Her work on sex determination in red-eared turtles focuses on the notion that some species may have temperature-dependent sex determination, explaining that sex is not determined by chromosome but by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated.
The talk will provide a synopsis of how sex is determined and the impact of the environment in which eggs develop during embryonic development.
ISU sophomore Tomyra Jackson is excited about the upcoming talk. Jackson explains that as a biology major, she feels compelled to learn about how different species operate with sex.
“I am one to admit that I was surprised to learn that other animals don’t worry about sex chromosomes when mating,” Jackson said.
“It makes me wonder why we, as humans, were designed to be dependent upon sex chromosomes and if there is a way that we don’t have to be,” she said.
“There are many people in the world who could benefit from an idea like that, because some people don’t want to ‘mate’ with the opposite sex in order to have children.”
Bowden is highly collaborative in her research which has given her the opportunity to mentor 15 graduate students and numerous undergraduate students in her research laboratory.
She has also co-authored papers and grant proposals with 11 different faculty members within Biological Sciences.