Symposium August 12.—15.2018 | registration | login
We are looking for a new approach that can bring movement into the conversation about where, when and why accelerated evolution (radiations) takes place. Currently, this conversation appears to be disintegrating into numerous special cases. We suggest cutting the Gordian Knot by starting from “evolutionary arenas”, a vague, baggage-free concept.
Evolutionary arenas contain three elements. The first can be conceptualized as the arena: the context (temporal and spatial or environmental) within which the evolutionary interaction takes place. The second is the response variable: e.g. evolutionary rate or diversification rate of the target clade or group. The third is the causative variable(s) or selective regime: this can include abiotic factors such as environmental or topographical characteristics, or biotic factors such as species interactions. Thus, the arena is the context in which the response and the causative variables meet.
This is almost analogous to the Roman Colosseum, where the lion meets the gladiator. The Colosseum without lion and gladiator is only architecture. The Colosseum with only the lion or only the gladiator shows no interesting dynamic. Bring all three together at the same time, and an exciting dynamic follows.
We hope that this approach will lead to interesting questions: what context is needed to obtain a particular response? What are the minimum causative variables required to account for a response within a particular context? Can we design rigorous tests for the hypothetical causative variables?
This meeting will bring together colleagues to explore a diverse range of possible instances where evolutionary arenas could provide new insight into why the evolutionary rate is variable through time and space, and provide ample time in which to discuss these approaches or maybe explore new ones.
To achieve this, we are organizing an unusual peripatric workshop-
symposium, placed in a semi-natural environment with arguably the best beer in the world. We will walk from one picturesque local Franconian inn or brewery to the next, in each venue there will be one or two presentations. The relaxed wandering between the venues will allow real-time for discussions in a beautiful scenery, Franconian Switzerland.