How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog-Lee Alan Dugatkin

Featured speaker: Lee Alan Dugatkin, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Distinguished Scholar, University of Louisville. Dr. Dugatkin will lecture on his book, co-authored with Lyudmila Trut, “How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog.”

For the last six decades, a dedicated team of researchers in Siberia has been domesticating silver foxes to replay the evolution of the dog in real time. Lyudmila Trut has been the lead scientist on this work since 1959, and together with biologist and historian of science Lee Dugatkin, she tells the inside story of the science, politics, adventure and love behind it all. “How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog” opens up to reveal story after story, each embedded within the one that preceded it. Inside this tale of path-breaking science in the midst of the often brutal -35° winters of Siberia is a remarkable collaboration between an older, freethinking scientific genius and a trusting, but gutsy, young woman. Together, these two risked not just their careers, but to an extent their lives, to make scientific history. If you go one level deeper, you find yourself lost in the magical tale of how some hardscrabble but open-hearted humans and the wild animals that they domesticated developed such deep attachments to each other.

The Conservation Conversation Series is co-sponsored by the Saint Louis Zoo and The Academy of Science-St. Louis. For information on this event, visit or, or call (314) 646-4544.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Living Earth Collaborative.