Project 3
How evolution learns from experience

Led by Richard Watson, Gunter Wagner & Tobias Uller


eyes of the great horned owl


This project models the reciprocal interactions between long-term genetic evolution and short-term phenotypic plasticity, using a novel approach that exploits the parallels between learning and evolution. This will enable us to predict how plasticity shapes the evolution of developmental regulation and how this regulation biases genetic change. It will also shed light on how lineages maintain the ability to evolve as they adapt.



How adaptive plasticity evolves when selected against.
[download PDF]
Rago A, Kouvaris K, Uller T, Watson RA. 2019. PLoS Comput Biol DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006260.


Blog posts

The unlikely but fruitful waltz of a curious couple: Phenotypic plasticity and learning theory
Brun-Usan M. 6 August 2018.
Understanding the role of plasticity in evolution
Rago A. 23 August 2017.
Intelligent design without a creator? Why evolution may be smarter than we thought
Watson RA. 27 Feb 2017.


Back to top