GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will continue its “Science Café” series Jan. 13, 2014, with University of Florida anthropology professor Connie Mulligan discussing “The First Settlers of the New World: Who, Where, When and How.”

This is the third year of the program in which guest speakers and community members gather at local establishments and discuss contemporary science over food. Seating and food orders begin at 6 p.m. with the program starting at 6:30 p.m.

“Our spring series features a variety of topics from the first settlers in the New World to bird intelligence and fossils of Panama,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning.

The Jan. 13 program at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129 in Town of Tioga, features Mulligan, who will describe how her work on human genetic variation is used to reconstruct who the first settlers in the New World were, and where, when and how they arrived.

“Our work combines genetics, archaeology, paleoecology, history and linguistics to reconstruct human evolutionary history,” said Mulligan, who also is associate chair of the UF department of anthropology and associate director of the UF Genetics Institute.

Other scheduled 2014 spring programs include:

  • • Feb. 3 at Blue Gill Quality Foods, 1310 SW 13th St. in Gainesville: Florida Museum Katharine Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation Scott Robinson, “Bird Brains: Bird Intelligence and Adapting to a Changing World.”
    • March 17 at Saboré: Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology Kenneth Sassaman from UF’s department of anthropology, “Futurescapes of Ancient Native Americans of the Florida Gulf Coast.”
    • April 7 at Blue Gill Quality Foods: Florida Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Bruce J. MacFadden, “Discovering Fossils in Panama: A Once-in-a-Century Opportunity.”

Participants purchase their own food and beverage for each program from a special Science Café menu, with seating and ordering beginning at 6 p.m. Please note seating is on a first-come basis (except when wheelchair access is requested in advance) and participation is limited. The presentation starts promptly at 6:30 p.m.

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing or calling Amanda Erickson Harvey, 352-273-2062.


Writer: Laura Caicedo,
Source: Betty Dunckel,, 352-273-2088
Media contact: Paul Ramey,, 352-273-2054