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Science Café to focus on behavior traits

NDSU’s next Science Café will examine how human behavioral traits impact mate selection and committing homicide.

Brian D. Wisenden, chair of biosciences at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is scheduled to present “Sex and Violence: Understanding behavior of the human animal from an evolutionary perspective” Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement of the Hotel Donaldson, 101 N. Broadway.

According to Wisenden, behavior is regulated by interactions between genetics and the environment.

“Just as genes for morphological traits are maintained and evolve according to natural selection, so too are behavioral traits,” Wisenden explained. “Behavioral traits that confer benefits in securing food, avoiding predators, attracting a mate or caring for offspring are promoted over evolutionary time. I will review general principles of behavior, using non-humans as examples, and apply the principles to aspects of human behavior: mate choice and homicide.”

Wisenden earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; master’s degree from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Canada; and doctorate at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He joined the MSUM faculty in 1998.

Science Café is sponsored by the NDSU College of Science and Mathematics. The series is designed as an opportunity for the community to hear local scientists discuss interesting science topics in a casual setting.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Diane Goede at or 701-231-7412.

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