Evolutionary landscapes and retrospective processes

Evolutionary landscapes and retrospective processes"

  • Date: Dec 6, 2021
  • Time: 15:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Matteo Smerlak, Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig
  • Location: virtual platform
  • Host: Silvia De Monte

Like other processes across the sciences, micro-evolution is powered by the interaction of multiplicative growth (selection) and diffusive transport (mutations). In the presence of disorder, these opposing forces can generate localized structures and bursty dynamics, a phenomenon known as "intermittency" in non-equilibrium physics and as "punctuated equilibrium" in evolutionary theory. This behaviour is difficult to forecast; in particular there is no general principle to locate the regions where the system will settle, how long it will stay there, or where it will jump next. In this talk I will introduce a Markovian representation of growth-transport dynamics that closes these gaps. This “retrospective view” of evolution unifies the concepts of linear intermittency and metastability, and provides a generally applicable method to reduce, and predict, the dynamics of disordered linear systems. Applications range from Zeld'dovich's parabolic Anderson model to Eigen's quasispecies model of molecular evolution.

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