DSSS -What's Wrong with Evolutionary Theory?
- Datum: 30.06.2023
- Uhrzeit: 15:00 - 16:00
- Vortragender: Prof. Dr. Ralf Sommer
- Ort: NO.002, MPI für Intelligente Systeme
Evolution – the change of heritable characteristics of species and populations over successive generations, is one of the overarching themes in biology. The theory of evolution by natural selection was independently conceived by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace and has been further developed over time, with important additions resulting in Neo-Darwinism. In this conceptual framework, evolutionary biologists have focused almost exclusively on the ways in which genes specify traits and how genes and traits will be propagated or lost. I will discuss current shortcomings in mainstream evolutionary theory and will show how the proper integration of the role of ‘development’ and ‘the environment’ can help shaping a more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of biological evolution and towards an understanding of the evolution of novelty. Phenotypic plasticity represents an important concept that can help extending current theory along these lines. I will present case studies in phenotypic plasticity, from molecular, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms to their ecological and evolutionary significance that will highlight its importance for evolution.