Foundation professor to give inaugural lecture, ‘Biogeography and Primate Evolution’

One of Kansas University’s Foundation Distinguished Professors will deliver his inaugural lecture on Tuesday.

K. Christopher Beard, Foundation Distinguished Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will present “Biogeography and Primate Evolution: Scientific Constraints on Improbable Events” at 5:30 p.m. at the Kansas Room in the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd.

K. Christopher Beard, a prominent paleontologist and distinguished chair of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum, will become Foundation Distinguished Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at KU

Beard, senior curator at the KU Biodiversity Institute, is an award-winning vertebrate paleontologist interested in the origin and early evolution of primates and how changes in the Earth’s physical environment have influenced Cenozoic mammals, according to an announcement from KU. His Tuesday talk will focus on the fossil record, ancient climate change and continental drift to explain how living and fossil anthropoids — the group that includes monkeys, apes and humans — wound up where they are found today.

Beard joined the KU faculty in 2014. He is one of nine Foundation Distinguished Professors hired so far, of KU’s goal of having 12.