Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
Behavior is a motor and brake for evolution
Abstract: Nature can be viewed, as Darwin suggested, as a "tangled bank", full of diverse forms connected by the laws of evolution. One of nature's most ubiquitous phenomena is the unequal distribution of biological diversity. Whereas some genes, traits, and lineages diversify rapidly, others remain inert for millions of years. Why is this true? Which laws cause some features to achieve evolutionary overdrive while others straddle the slow lane? I address this question by focusing on one of evolution's most powerful architects: behavior. I discover how behavior generates phenotypic diversity in natural populations and reveal these signatures at both micro- and macroevolutionary scales.
Host: Graduate Students