EEB Thursday Seminar: Probing the structure of fitness landscapes with experimental evolution
Sergey Kryazhimskiy, Assistant Professory, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego
The ability to evolve and adapt is a fundamental property of living systems. In many populations, the process of adaptive evolution can be thought of as an uphill walk of a population on a "fitness landscape" where mutations are steps and fitness is altitude. Understanding the structure of fitness landscapes is a fundamental open problem in evolutionary biology. I will discuss our efforts to probe the fitness landscapes and the adaptive walks on them using experimental microbial populations. I will show some interesting and perhaps somewhat counterintuitive patterns that we found. If time permits, I will say a few words about our initial attempts to build a theory that might help us understand these patterns.
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