Author Archives: bendickins

Cue-Based Hedging

Usually a contrast is made between bet hedging and adaptive plasticity. What makes adaptive plasticity different from hedging is that organisms respond adaptively to environmental cues. But what if organisms respond to environmental cues in ways that do not increase mean fitness, … Continue reading

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Adaptive Tracking and Rare Alleles

In my lab we are experimenting with evolution at high mutation rates and examining populations as they respond to alternating environments. I/we need to read more and more deeply. This blog exists and can be a commitment device. Today I will start with the … Continue reading

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How not to be a sucker

I’ve just finished reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s (NNT’s) recent book “Antifragile” (UK link, US link). A brief and organised summary of some of the key ideas is here on the Edge website. The book is disorganised and chock-a-block with interesting … Continue reading

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Repulsive or attractive?

PNAS Early Edition has a paper that phage enthusiasts should read. I was alerted to it by this Economist piece. Symbioses are widespread and the focal paper adds animal mucosa to the list of ecosystems where they play a critical … Continue reading

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Does it make sense to separate ecology and evolution? Conceptually yes, but practically no. This week let me draw your attention to this recent paper in Ecology Letters which has been covered by the BBC. You have to love ANOVAs … Continue reading

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It’s not as if TED needs any additional advertising, but this seems relevant to my recent posts. Nor am I casting around for reasons to be sceptical – it seems self-evidently cool to me – team-wise and in terms of … Continue reading

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Biology Letters’ February Experimental Evolution Special

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stepping stones and evolutionary rescue

I promised to discuss “evolutionary rescue” – the ability of populations to adapt to environmental change so that they do not go extinct. Like many terms in evolutionary biology this should not be taken anthropomorphically – there is no rescuer. However it … Continue reading

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a drop in the ocean

Human-caused increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide have consequences besides climate change. For example, they are causing the ocean’s pH to drop with unwelcome consequences as corals struggle to accrete their calcium carbonate skeletons. What makes this process interesting from a … Continue reading

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complex processes

Inferring evolutionary dynamics is difficult because there is not a one-to-one relationship between genotype and phenotype. One phenotype may be the product of different genotypes. Conversely, the expression of a given genotype depends on the environment. This leads Michael Travisano … Continue reading

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