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The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis in the fossil record
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) has recently emerged as a theoretical alternative or complement to the Modern Synthesis (MS) in which to frame evolutionary observations and interpretations. The theoretical framework of the EES places a greater evolutionary significance on a number of controversial hypotheses and processes, such as phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation, and makes a number of empirical predictions based thereon. Investigation and empirical exploration of these predictions has begun in a neontological context yet the field of palaeontology has not yet been instrumental in developing or testing these predictions. Here the hypothetical process of evolution via phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation is explained and contextualised to the fossil record. A prediction of the EES specific to palaeontological data is formulated and methods suitable for its empirical testing are suggested.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319486DiVA: diva2:1087693
Available from: 2017-04-10 Created: 2017-04-10 Last updated: 2017-04-15
In thesis
1. Morphometric analysis of Cambrian fossils and its evolutionary significance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Morphometric analysis of Cambrian fossils and its evolutionary significance
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) is currently emerging as a theoretical alternative to the Modern Synthesis (MS) in which to frame evolutionary observations and interpretations. These alternative frameworks differ fundamentally in their understanding of the relative roles of the genotype, phenotype, development and environment in evolutionary processes and patterns. While the MS represents a gene-centred view of evolution, the EES instead emphasizes the interactions between organism, development and environment. This novel theoretical framework has generated a number of evolutionary predictions that are mutually incompatible with the equivalent of the MS. While research and empirical testing has begun on a number of these in a neontological context, the field of palaeontology has yet to contribute meaningfully to this endeavour. One of the reasons for this is a lack of methodological approaches capable of investigating relevant evolutionary patterns in the fossil record. In this thesis morphometric methods capable of providing relevant data are developed and employed in the analysis of Cambrian fossils. Results of these analyses provide empirical support for the process of evolution through phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation hypothesized by the EES. Furthermore, theoretical revision to the species concept in a palaeontological context is suggested. Finally, predictions of the EES specific to the fossil record are made explicit and promising directions of future research are outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 63 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1506
Keyword
Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, phenotypic plasticity, genetic assimilation, phenotypic accommodation, Agnostus pisiformis, Mackinnonia, elliptical fourier analysis, species concept
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319487 (URN)978-91-554-9894-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-02, Norrlands 1 & 2, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-12 Created: 2017-04-10 Last updated: 2017-05-16

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