Matthew James is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Sonoma State University. His book, Collecting Evolution: The Galapagos Expedition that Vindicated Darwin, chronicles the 1905-1906 expedition from San Francisco to the Galapagos aboard the Academy, one of the most important in the history of both evolutionary and conservation science.
These scientists collected over 78,000 specimens during their time on the islands, validating the work of Charles Darwin and laying the groundwork for foundational evolution texts like Darwin's Finches. Despite its significance, almost nothing has been written on this voyage, lost amongst discussion of Darwin's trip on the Beagle and the writing of David Lack.
In the end, the voyage of the Academy proved to be crucial in the development of evolutionary science as we know it. It is the longest expedition in Galapagos history, and played a critical role in cementing Darwin's legacy.
This is sure to be a fascinating evening at The Spaulding Marine Center, as Matthew James discusses his book and the implications of the voyage.