Marlene Zuk

Evolutionary biologist
Marlene Zuk studies insect behavior — and how humans use animal behavior to think about how we behave ourselves.

Why you should listen

Marlene Zuk is a biologist and writer who researches animal behavior and evolution, mostly using insects as subjects. Zuk is interested in the ways that people use animal behavior to think about human behavior, and vice versa, as well as in the public's understanding of evolution. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota -- including a seminar called “What’s the Alternative to Alternative Medicine?”

In addition to publishing numerous scientific articles, Zuk has published four books for a general audience: Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn About Sex from AnimalsRiddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We AreSex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World; and most recently, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet and the Way We Live.

Marlene Zuk’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Marlene Zuk

Live from TEDWomen

The many meanings of seduction: The talks in Session 3 of TEDWomen 2015

May 29, 2015

Seduction happens in many forms. The speakers in this session highlight unexpected twists on the topic — a romance of dueling banjos, the allure of insects, and our ever-widening definition of love. Short recaps of the talks in this session… What we learn from insect sex. “You could have an insect-of-the-month calendar and not have to reuse a species for […]

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