Public Invited to Rob Dunn Lecture, Reception​

Rob Dunn, NC State University
Nationally acclaimed author and researcher Rob Dunn ​will present public lectures on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on both April 11 and 12. Photo by A Ward. Download image​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nationally acclaimed author and researcher Rob Dunn likes to find meaning in the world around us. His vivid descriptions of the species of life that co-exist in our day-to-day world can bring to audiences from all backgrounds a better understanding of biology on a very local level, and he’s bringing his talent to the University of Tennessee.

On Thursday, April 11, Dunn will present a public lecture at the UT campus in Room 102 of the Mossman Building. Hosted by the UT Institute of Agriculture Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Dunn will present musings from his most recent book, Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Cricket and Honeybees (Basic Books, 2018). The New York Times called it a book that will make you terrified of your own house; however, Dunn will explore ways in which the species in our homes can benefit us either as individuals or collectively now and in the future. 

Dunn believes the optimal future for humans will require much stronger connections between ecology and evolutionary biology and applied fields. “In this talk, drawing heavily on case examples from my work on insect macroecology/biogeography and my work with the public on the biology of daily life, I argue for a new vision of the future, one in which we work with rather than against nature's general rules,” Dunn writes.  

The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. The EPP Department is also hosting a public reception that begins at 6 p.m., and Dunn will be available after the lecture for a book sale and signing. 

A professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, Dunn has authored and coauthored numerous publications in the popular press and for peer-reviewed journals. He has appeared in Scientific American, The New Yorker, and Wired, among others. He has also been a guest on National Public Radio and the PBS Newshour.

Dunn is also the featured speaker at the UT Science Forum on April 12. This talk is also open to the public and takes place from noon to 1 p.m., in the Thompson Boling Arena Café Room A.

More information about Dunn’s work and his philosophy can be found at his website:​.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



DeWayne Shoemaker, professor and head, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 865-974-7135,