Seminar of Jeremy Draghi
Synthesizing evolvability and evolutionary rescue
Evolvability–the capacity of populations to adapt via evolution–has emerged as a unifying concept for evolutionary biology. When related to the concept of evolutionary rescue–the recovery of doomed populations via adaptation–we can see some of the challenges that emerge when trying to make evolution a more predictive science. In this seminar, I discuss several recent modeling results in which changing environments don’t simply decrease fitness, but disrupt how organisms relate to their environments: how signals predict the future, how cues predict environmental quality, and how births are balanced by deaths. These examples motivate the need for deeper connections with ecology and behavioral science, and point to the vast space of questions that remain unanswered in the field of evolutionary rescue.