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Control theory in evolution

Date: Monday, December 16, 2019 16:00 - 17:00
Speaker: Alex Badyaev (University of Arizona)
Location: Raiffeisen Lecture Hall, Central Building
Series: Institute colloquium
Host: Fyodor Kondrashov
Contact: Arinya Eller
Central building lecture hall


With a few notable exceptions there is little cross-talk between evolutionary theory and control theory of dynamic systems. Yet, both fields are intensely focused on essentially an identical set of problems – on reconciling stability and change, continuity and discreetness, innovation and complexity, and inherency and contingency. Both fields aim to resolve these problems by predicting the distribution and kinds of “controls” that either change or regulate complex systems. As a result, we now have a set of parallel solutions to essentially the same problems but from largely non-overlapping starting points, backgrounds, and motivations. I will review these solutions, focusing on their empirical manifestations and the insights they provide into some of the most long-standing issues in evolutionary biology, including the most enigmatic of them all – the relationship between form and function in development and inheritance.

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