15 Nov. 2019 — 12:00 noon — WAG 316

Nicole Elmer (UT)

“In Search of UT’s ‘Fly Room’”

In the first decades of the twentieth century, the University of Texas was recognized as a world center of experimental genetics. Working in the “Fly Room” in the Biological Laboratories building, Theophilus Painter, J. T. Patterson, Hermann Muller, and others studied carefully tended populations of fruit flies, mapping their chromosomes and tracking how their traits were passed from one generation to the next. In 1926, Muller showed that X-rays could induce many new mutations in these flies, work for which he was later awarded the Nobel Prize. Nicole Elmer will describe some of the work done in UT’s Fly Room and recount her successful sleuthing to track down exactly where it was located.

Nicole Elmer is an administrative associate in UT’s Department of Integrative Biology and its Biodiversity Center. She has put together a set of fascinating websites on the history of biology at UT, including one on her search for the Fly Room.