The Institute is supported by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Letters and Science at UW-Madison, and is housed in the Department of Genetics. Institute activities are overseen by the Evolution Coordinating Committee and five standing committees, described below.

  • Evolution Coordinating Committee: The ECC oversees all activities of the Crow Institute. This committee is currently co-chaired by the Crow Institute director, Nicole Perna, and the former director, David Baum.
  • Graduate Committee: The graduate committee is charged with examining graduate level courses and educational programs at UW. The committee is exploring the idea of a joint PhD program in evolutionary biology. The committee is currently chaired by Chris Hittinger.
  • Undergraduate Committee: The undergraduate committee is charged with examining undergraduate courses and educational programs at UW that involve (or should involve) evolution. The committee keeps track of current courses and identifies courses that would be desirable to add. The committee played an important role in establishing the Evolution Option within the Biology undergraduate major. It is exploring ways to strengthen the Evolution Option and perhaps to institute a student evolution club. The committee is currently chaired by David Baum . 
  • Darwin Day Committee: UW-Madison’s Darwin Day events are held every year close to Charles Darwin’s birthday (February 12). The day usually includes an evolution-themed movie night, at least one distinguished speaker, a teacher’s workshop, and a family-oriented collection of activities, displays and exploration stations. All Darwin Day planning and logistics are overseen by a committee which is currently chaired by Danny Minahan.
  • Evolution Seminar Series Committee: The Evolution Seminar Series (ESS) features speakers from different departments across campus, including Botany, Zoology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Philosophy, Plant Breeding, Horticulture, The Vet School, etc., all focused on evolution.  Weekly seminars are on Thursdays at noon in Genetics/Biotech 1360. Talks are generally ~45 minutes long, followed by questions and discussion. ESS is run by a committee that is currently chaired by Megan Frayer.
  • Outreach and Education Committee: In addition to Darwin Day, the Crow Institute works to support public understanding of evolution through its outreach committee. This committee works to arrange workshops for teachers and engage the local community. Additionally, the Outreach and Education committee supports the Teaching Evolution Seminar, a group that meets weekly to discuss issues in the teaching of Evolution at the college and pre-college levels. The committee is chaired by Chloe Drummond. We are currently seeking members for this committee, and if you are interested in serving, please contact Chloe!


The Crow Institute’s bylaws are available in PDF format here.