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Maria Sibylla Merian: A Biologist to the Bone

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0212
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian 

Please Note: The program has a rescheduled date and time (originally November 17, 2022 at 6:45 p.m. ET).

The aesthetic appeal of the images created by Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717) has led history to label her as an artist who painted and etched natural history subjects. However, Merian was as passionate a naturalist (biologist in modern terms) as Charles Darwin or Carl Linnaeus, and like all scientists, she was impelled by her curiosity about nature.

Merian was the first person to spend decades studying the relationships of insects and plants, and her work revolutionized what came to be the field of ecology. Kay Etheridge, professor emeritus of biology at Gettysburg College, draws on Merian’s own words to consider her motivations in the context of her time and place, and discusses Merian’s body of work in comparison to that of her near-contemporaries working in natural history.

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Inside Science