Munich Neuroscience Calendar


04.07.2023, 11:00 Max-Planck-Institut for Biological Intelligence Campus Seewiesen
until 12:00
Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Theunis Piersma
Institute: University of Groningen, Groningen

Title: Beyond the genes vs. environment dichotomy: migration as a "developmental system"

MPI BI, Haus 4, Seminarraum 4/0.07 und 4/0.08
82319 Seewiesen

Host: Bart Kempenaers

Over the years, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the way we talk about biology in general, and the evolution of seasonal migration in particular. Attempts to understand the capacity to evolve under changing environmental conditions found a focus in our field trying to separate genetic from environmental correlates of phenotypic variation, a mechanistic approach with strong Cartesian roots. In this talk I take you on a journey discussing fast evolutionary changes in the migration routes of some shorebirds, amazing phenotypic variation in migration-itineraries of close-knit breeding populations, a translocation experiment on migration inheritance, and glimpses of bird lifes enriched by sophisticated communication.
"Environment", I conclude, is so many different things, with all these factors working with that single thing (genes, i.e. recipes to make proteins) as a "developmental system".

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