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The UNC-owned Morehead parking lot is under construction. Weekday visitors must now pay using ParkMobile (Zone Code 4468) or the Digital Pay Station near our iguana. For more information, go to our Plan A Visit page.

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Teen Science Cafe | Evolution of Animal Behavior

April 19 @ 5:30 pm 7:00 pm

Feisty females: hyenas and lemurs and meerkats, oh my!

Please join us at Morehead Planetarium on Friday, April 19th for a very exciting Teen Science Cafe! For this month we will be joined by Duke University professor Dr. Christine Drea to explore species where females display physical and behavioral traits that are usually associated with males.

A spotted hyena standing looking towards the camera.

Dr. Drea will talk about a few special primate and carnivore species, in which all female members display physical and behavioral traits that are typically associated with males. Despite the species’ very different lifestyles, they share the same unusual suite of behavioral traits – including more rough-and-tumble play, scent marking, and aggression than males – that ultimately relate to increased female competition and contribute to making dominant females much more reproductively successful than lower females.

The western doors up the big stairs will open at 5:30 for pizza and conversation. The cafe will start at 6:00 and wrap up around 7:00.

About the Speaker

Dr. Christine Drea is a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and of Biology at Duke University. Her research interests are in the mechanisms, development, function, and evolution of animal social and reproductive behavior, with a focus on exceptional mammals, including hyenas, lemurs, and meerkats. The general premise driving this selection is that unusual species test our understanding of normal processes and function as ‘experiments of nature.’

Her team’s current work, conducted in parts of Africa and at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina, is centered on the role of androgens in female dominance and aggression, the neuroendocrine mediators of social bonding and cooperation, the evolution of chemical communication, and the role of microbes in mediating animal behavior and wellbeing. A passion for wildlife and wild spaces fuels teaching, mentoring, and public outreach aimed at encouraging curiosity about and appreciation of the world around us, as well as activism in support of nature conservancy. Service within the academy is focused on improving diversity and achieving equity in the workplace.

Program Schedule

5:30 pm – Arrive and check in. We will gather inside the west, main entrance of Morehead.

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Pizza social. Pizza social will take place in our classrooms, located on the 2nd floor.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Discussion & activities. Presentations will take place at the Science Stage located on the 1st floor.

*Please Note: Depending on scheduled activities, the program may end between 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.


Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center Science Stage

250 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 United States