Past Event

Elective Studies Supper Club Vol. 12: Dr. John Novembre

In partnership with Land & Sea Dept., Illinois Humanities presents the next volume of the Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by renowned geneticist Dr. John Novembre, a meal by chef Hunter Moore, and an opening drink by Land & Sea Dept. Beverage Director Paul McGee.

This event is part of our Elective Studies series, created to help artists find inspiration from the world around them. Through a combination of lectures by top-tier experts and meals crafted by the city’s finest chefs, these convenings are designed to unite, inspire, nourish, and connect.

With generous support from the Joyce Foundation, and sponsorship by Letherbee Distillers and Lagunitas Brewing Co.


Lecture: Visualizing Human Genetic Diversity
Dr. John Novembre
University of Chicago

Dr. John Novembre University of ChicagoEvery human carries a unique individual genome. The ways in which human genomes are similar or different to one another is just now being detailed at high resolution thanks to advances in DNA sequencing technologies. These new, large-scale observations of patterns of genetic diversity reveal a lot about our origins as humans, including our patterns of spread across the globe. In this talk, Dr. Novembre will introduce a few major patterns of human genetic diversity and tools for data visualization that make them apparent.

John Novembre is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. His research develops statistical methods to address questions in evolutionary and population genetics with an emphasis on understanding human ancestry and demography. Most recently, his group is focused on haplotype-based analyses of genetic variation and spatial population structure.

Dr. Novembre studied for his BA at The Colorado College and his PhD at the University of California-Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and then faculty at UCLA for 5 years before returning to the University of Chicago in 2013. He serves as an academic editor for the journal Genetics and for Molecular Biology and Evolution and he sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for AncestryDNA. He has been awarded as a Searle Scholar, Sloan Research Fellow and MacArthur Fellow, and his research is supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.


Hunter Moore is the executive chef at Parson’s Chicken & Fish. Moore got his first professional job at a cheeseburger joint in Florida at sixteen. He moved to Champaign-Urbana after high school, where – while working at mediocre Italian and vegan spots – he began to think creatively about food. From there, he moved to Chicago to attend culinary school, and once out of school, Moore worked his way through some of the city’s best kitchens, deepening his knowledge of and passion for the craft of food, as well as for cooking and hospitality in general. For Moore, food isn’t just about nourishment, but about bringing us all together.


If you are interested in being added to the list of artists invited to these gatherings, please email
If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event.