Early Career Spotlight with Illiam Jackson thumbnail

Early Career Spotlight with Illiam Jackson

by Lynn Chiu


Illiam Jackson just wrapped up his work at Tobias Uller’s lab (Lund) and is moving on to great things. We talked to Illiam about himself, his work, and papers he liked under the EES project.   Check out his new paper:   Developmental bias in the fossil record.[download PDF]Illiam S. C. Jackson. 2019. Evolution &

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Early Career Spotlight with Thomas Oudman thumbnail

Early Career Spotlight with Thomas Oudman

by Lynn Chiu


In today’s early career spotlight, we talked to Thomas Oudman, visiting scholar at the Laland Lab, University of St. Andrews.   Two of his papers just came out:   Northward range expansion in spring‐staging barnacle geese is a response to climate change and population growth, mediated by individual experience.[download PDF]Tombre IM, Oudman T, Shimmings P, 

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The “Does Evolutionary Theory Need a Rethink?” Debate: A Backstory thumbnail

The “Does Evolutionary Theory Need a Rethink?” Debate: A Backstory

by Kevin Laland


In October 2014, Nature magazine published “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?”, an exchange in back-to-back articles between advocates of an ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ and more traditionally minded researchers. The exchange provoked considerable discussion across many academic fields, which continues to this day. Recently, on Twitter, a question was raised concerning the origin of this

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StuFest- Celebrating Stuart Kauffman’s 80th Birthday thumbnail

StuFest- Celebrating Stuart Kauffman’s 80th Birthday

by Wim Hordijk


This year we celebrate Stuart Kauffman’s 80th birthday. Kauffman was one of the early proponents of the view that the complexity we see in biological systems is not necessarily a consequence of natural selection alone, but could result just as well from spontaneous self-organization.   In honor of Kauffman’s contributions to science in general, and

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The Role of Mobile Genetic Elements in Evolution and Development thumbnail

The Role of Mobile Genetic Elements in Evolution and Development

by Nathalie Feiner


A new study in Evolution Letters suggests that transposable elements are important for both developmental processes and evolutionary diversification in snakes and lizards. Author Dr Nathalie Feiner explains her findings in our latest blog. Mobile DNA sequences – transposable elements or TEs for short – are found in the genome of virtually all organisms. As

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The Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis thumbnail

The Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

by Bruce Damer


Origin of life researcher, Professor Bruce Damer, presents an exciting four-part essay on the Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life, and how this connects to the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.     Introduction to the Series Part 1. The Origin of Evolution Part 2. Programming Without a Programmer Part 3. The Quest to Test

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Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory thumbnail

Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory

by Katrina J Falkenberg


Last week, 200 delegates took part in the Evolution Evolving conference at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. The conference was one of its kind – bringing together senior and junior academics from many different fields to encourage discussions across empirical and theoretical biology, philosophy and history of science, computer science, and anthropology. The atmosphere buzzed with

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‘The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Philosophical and Historical Dimensions’ Workshop Report thumbnail

‘The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Philosophical and Historical Dimensions’ Workshop Report

by Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda


A group of biologists, philosophers and historians of science recently gathered at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) for the 7th Workshop on History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences organized by Jan Baedke and Christina Brandt, entitled “The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Philosophical and Historical Dimensions” (21-22 March, 2019). This multidisciplinary community of scholars was brought together

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Niche construction, feedback cascades, and how food is produced in Polynesia thumbnail

Niche construction, feedback cascades, and how food is produced in Polynesia

by Seth Quintus & Ethan E Cochrane


Few cultural practices are more fundamentally tied to the environment than agriculture. Because of this, archaeological explanations for the development of food production systems throughout the world have privileged the concept of adaptation. Adaptation in this context has referred to the functional role played by agricultural techniques in an environmental context, for instance the development

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From plasticity to diversity: accommodation of ancestral plasticity results in divergent developmental rates in spadefoot toads thumbnail

From plasticity to diversity: accommodation of ancestral plasticity results in divergent developmental rates in spadefoot toads

by Ivan Gomez-Mestre


“A plausible argument could be made that evolution is the control of development by ecology” Van Valen, 1973   During development, organisms use hereditary information, together with cues from the internal and external environment, to produce their phenotype. I use the term hereditary information purposefully because research in the last two decades has shown that

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