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Screening of ‘Voyage of the Continents’ set for January 30

January 22, 2015
Karen Samonds

Karen Samonds

The fieldwork of an NIU professor will be showcased in a documentary slated to air later this year on the Discovery Channel.

In June of 2013, Karen Samonds, assistant professor of biological sciences, was filmed for a documentary series titled “Voyage of the Continents,” depicting how, over many millennia, geology and evolution have interacted to forge life as we know it on Earth.

Featuring her research and paleontology team, the crew visited two of her fossil sites, and filmed for five days in northwestern, Madagascar.

The French version of the episode aired in Europe last year, while the English version is planned to air in the United States in late 2015 on the Discovery Channel.

Samonds’ field research aims to shed light on the origin and evolutionary history of Madagascar’s modern fauna. How, when, and from where the island’s animals came from has remained largely unknown due to a 65 million year gap in the fossil record that occurs during the time when the modern animals are thought to have arrived.

The NIU Department of Biological Sciences will host a special screening of the documentary “Voyage of the Continents” at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, in the Montgomery Hall auditorium. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

“This should be a fun event for everyone,” said Barrie Bode, chair of biological sciences. “We’re proud of Karen and her work, and are excited to offer this preview screening of the Discovery Channel special.”

For more information, call (815) 753-7821.