Reconciling the evolution of development with population biology

5 Apr 2013

Sean Rice
Department of Biological Sciences
Texas Tech University


If the study of developmental evolution is to be anything more than comparative developmental biology – meaning if it is to be a mechanistic study of how and why developmental processes evolve as they do – then it must deal with the complexities of populations and transmission. Unfortunately, traditional population and quantitative genetics theory is ill suited to study the evolution of development. I will discuss how we can modify formal evolutionary theory to address the evolution of developmental processes, and show how this theory yields insight into the evolutionary forces that shape development. I will then introduce some recent work that seeks to make the formal theory directly applicable to the kinds of data that we can get from natural populations.

current theory lunch schedule