Basingstoke IVC Science and Climate Group invite you to this free Royal Institution talk titled "Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?' Non-Darwinian routes to the evolution of life’s complexity"
ADVANCE BOOKING IS REQUIRED FOR THIS TALK.
Please register for the event via this link:
The RI will have the replay of the video available for 72 hours after the event for those of you that can’t make the date. It will also be uploaded to YouTube in the future.
This is a livestream event where the speakers and audience come together online.
The 2020 Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lecturer is Jonathan Pettitt.
The standard view of evolution is that complex living things arise through gradual refinements of simpler precursors; each successive version becoming better adapted through natural selection, leading to exquisitely refined, complex mechanisms.
But there is another route for life to evolve complexity. Rather than being fine-tuned creations of natural selection, complex features can arise simply because biology is messy and noisy.
In this talk, Jonathan Pettitt will explain how living systems tend to make simple mechanisms more complicated than they need to be. He will show how such ‘unnecessary complexity’ can both restrict and expand an organism’s evolutionary potential.
This event is particularly suitable for ages 13+
Jonathan Pettitt graduated from Imperial College with an upper second class degree in Biochemistry. He then carried out postgraduate research within the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, investigating the structure and expression of collagen genes in the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum. Whilst at Cambridge he was seduced by the many charms of the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and upon completing his PhD he went to Bill Wood’s lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder as an HFSPO long term postdoctoral fellow to study C. elegans development. In 1994, he obtained a two year EMBO fellowship to continue this work in the laboratory of Ronald Plasterk at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, and learn the reverse genetics techniques pioneered there. He moved to the University of Aberdeen in 1996 where he became group leader and Lecturer in genetics within the newly built Institute of Medical Sciences.