Mechanisms of Evolution
Evolution is a population-level process, and as quoted by E.B. Wilson, 1925 The Cell in Development and Inheritance “The key to every biological problem must finally be sought in the cell, for every living organism is, or at some time has been, a cell.”.
Therefore all evolutionary change starts at the cellular level. Our goal is to decipher the general rules by which evolution proceeds in different phylogenetic lineages, using an approach grounded in empirical observation and a mathematical framework, to empower all areas of the life sciences and inform our ability to solve key practical issues.
Evolution is a population-level process, whereas the building blocks out of which evolutionary changes are assembled and derived at the molecular and cellular levels. While much of evolutionary biology is focused on why certain phenotypes evolve, the goal of this center is to understand the mechanisms of evolutionary change. To accomplish this task, we are focused on the integration of population-genetic theory with empirical work from molecular and cell biology, biophysics, and biochemistry.
Central to this research is the development of mathematical theory and computational procedures, their applications to diverse organisms, and the implementation of long-term evolution experiments.
Over the next few years, this new center will be greatly expanded by the addition of six open-rank faculty positions, along with numerous research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Inquiries are welcome.