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Animal behavior scientist to speak at Bethel College

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Kenneth B. Armitage knows marmots. He's also done scientific research on four continents. The retired University of Kansas professor, who studied marmot social behavior for four decades and who last summer traveled to the Galapagos Islands, will speak at Bethel College Nov. 7 and 8 in a series of lectures sponsored by the Science Lectureship Endowment. Armitage will lecture on "The Evolution of Sociality in Marmots: Costs and Benefits of Group Living" at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 7 in room 121, Krehbiel Science Center.

He will present a slide lecture, "The Galapagos Islands: The Enchanted Isles," for Bethel College convocation at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8 in Krehbiel Auditorium, Fine Arts Center. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Armitage is now retired from his professorship in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. For nearly 40 years he taught biology to undergraduates and graduate students at KU. He advised and supported more than 50 KU graduate students to earn master's or doctoral degrees, including Bethel College biology professor Wayne Wiens.

"Dr. Armitage was an inspiring and demanding instructor," Wiens says. "He has won numerous awards for his fine teaching and is a prolific scientist and writer."

Armitage has published nearly 200 papers and given more than 100 scientific presentations in the United States, Europe and Australia. While he did research in places such as Antarctica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Russia, he spent most summers throughout his career at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado studying the costs and benefits of marmot social behavior.

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.