Jennifer Verdolin, behavioral scientist, to discuss her book "Wild Connection," February 4, 2016

Verdolin applies her knowledge of animal courtship and mating behaviors to human relationships

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Jennifer Verdolin, behavioral scientist, author of "Wild Connection" (2014)

ALBANY, NY (01/20/2016)(readMedia)-- Jennifer Verdolin, scientific expert on animal sex and courtship, who applies her knowledge of animal behaviors to human love relationships, will discuss her new book Wild Connection (2014) on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 8 p.m. in Campus Center Room 375 on the University at Albany's uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and cosponsored in conjunction with UAlbany's Sexuality Week.

Jennifer Verdolin, behavioral scientist based at Duke University, applies her knowledge of animal courtship and mating behaviors to human relationships. Her book on the subject, Wild Connection (2014), grows out of her same-titled blog for Psychology Today. The book is a rich and often hilarious treasury of scientific knowledge about animal sex- from the brutal courtship of the praying mantis to the tender romance of the royal albatross.

The Publishers Weekly reviewer said, "Verdolin takes a lighthearted, pop-science approach toward applying some biologically deterministic lessons to her own romantic life, looking for analogies to mainstream heterosexual dating behavior throughout the animal kingdom." Mary Bates of Wired magazine praised Verdolin for her "fascinating observations." Leading evolutionary biologist Marc Bekoff, author of Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed, called the book, "A must-read for anyone interested in a detailed, science-based, easy-to-read, entertaining, and penetrating discussion of what the birds, the bees, and many other nonhuman animals tell us about our own mating rituals.... I learned a lot from this landmark book."

A graduate of SUNY Stony Brook with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, Verdolin is currently scholar-in-residence in the Biology Department at Duke University. She previously served as research scientist at Duke's National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, where she studied lemur personality and social behavior. She also spent six years as a volunteer at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida.

Her work has appeared in National Geographic, The Smithsonian and Scientific American, and on NPR's "All Things Considered." She is the recurring featured guest of the segment "Think Like a Human, Act Like an Animal" on the nationally syndicated D. L. Hughley Radio Show. She is also the coauthor of the scholarly work, Prairie Dogs: Communication and Community in an Animal Society (2009, Harvard University Press, with C. N. Slobodchikoff and Bianca S. Perla).

Sponsored in conjunction with UAlbany's Sexuality Week organized by the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, and University Counseling and Psychological Services. Cosponsored by the Student Association, University Auxiliary Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Women in Science and Health group.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at