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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology pres.

EEB Thursday Seminar Series: Leaving the fitness landscape

C. Brandon Ogbunu, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University

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The fitness landscape analogy has been transformative for evolutionary genetics, providing a conceptual bridge between genotype-phenotype maps and the mechanisms of molecular evolution. In this seminar, I explain my plans to abandon the concept, arguing that modern technology and the nature of cutting edge problems in evolutionary genetics are beyond the scope of its capabilities. In the process, I summarize the range of projects related to the fitness landscape that I’ve recently explored on the brink of my departure, including clonal interference, the context-dependence of higher-order epistasis, and the drugability of antibiotics. In closing, I introduce several new conceptual tropes that are better equipped to address modern questions in evolutionary biology.

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