interior static banner

King University News :: Buechner Bonus :: Biologist Tyrone Hayes to Speak at King University Nov. 4

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, biologist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology, will speak at King University on Monday, Nov. 4 as a bonus lecture in the Buechner Institute’s 2013-14 Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier. Hayes will present “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men” at 9:15 in King’s Memorial Chapel on the Bristol campus.  

“I've been to numerous talks by Tyrone since my graduate school years; he continues to amaze me by the way he teaches, informs, and fights for the truth,” says Dr. Han Chuan Ong, dean of King University's College of Arts Sciences. “His research has great implications on how we view agricultural technology and the way we treat those who are growing and selecting the food that we eat. Science has always been about ‘just the facts,’ but, in many ways, it is also about the improvement of life and its quality. I believe Tyrone’s work is pursuing both fronts.”

Originally from Columbia, S.C., Hayes has been interested in amphibian development and in particular how environmental change affects development since early childhood. He attended Harvard University where he received his Bachelor of Art in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in 1989. While at Harvard, he studied the effects of temperature on growth, metamorphosis, and sex differentiation in wood frogs (Rana Sylvatica). In 1993, Hayes completed his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  His Ph.D. work was spent examining the role of sex steroid hormones in growth, development and metamorphosis in amphibians.  In 1995, Hayes accepted a professorship at UC Berkeley, and in 1997, he was promoted to a tenured professorship and to full professor in 2002.

At present, Hayes continues to be interested in interactions between environmental factors and hormones and the subsequent alteration of both developmental and evolutionary pathways. His work is both laboratory and field-based with fieldwork primarily in Eastern African and the Midwestern U.S. 

Most recently, Hayes is using amphibian models to examine the impact of pesticides on amphibian development. His laboratory discovered the herbicide— the world's number one selling herbicide and most common contaminant of ground and surface water — is an endocrine disruptor that both chemically castrates and feminizes amphibians. The underlying mechanism of the herbicide’s action (the decrease in testosterone and increase in estrogen production) has been identified in all vertebrate classes examined (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans) and likely increases the risk of breast cancer and prostate problems (prostatitis and prostate cancer) in rodent models and humans. 

In a multi-phasic approach, Hayes’ current interests involve integrating the available science with appropriate economic concerns to encourage policies that weigh environmental and public health concerns more heavily. 

Dr. Tyrone Hayes will present “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men” at 9:15 a.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.