"Theory and Strategy of Coding in Microbe Genomes: Case Studies in Informational Evolutionary Theory"Dr. David C. Krakauer
Santa Fe Institute
February 12, 2007
12:20 - 1:10 pm
Billings North Lounge
Darwin's theory of evolution was developed without reference to the microscopic world or the genetic underpinnings of variation. Modern evolutionary theory has benefited from the fact that microbes evolve over the course of days and years permitting an exact description of changing genetic structure. Unlike Darwinian evolution that stresses morphological properties, modern evolution stresses informational properties and their relation to form. I shall present four concepts which I argue will be central to an extended, twenty first century evolutionary theory: robustness, evolvability, redundancy and compression. These are also key concepts in engineering and computer science. The application of these concepts will be explored in relation to the structure and function of microbial genomes.
David Krakauer is currently a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. He received a B.Sc. in Biology and an M.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of London, and his PhD in Evolutionary Theory from the University of Oxford. David remained in Oxford as a Wellcome Research fellow and lecturer at Pembroke College. In 1999 he moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as a long-term member, and was external Professor of evolutionary theory at Princeton University. In 2002 he moved to the Santa Fe Institute. Davidí work is concerned largely with the evolutionary history of information processing mechanisms in biology, with an emphasis on information transmission, signaling dynamics and their role in promoting novel, higher level structures, such as language. He is author of over 70 scientific publications, coauthor of the forthcoming book the Nature of Information with Princeton University Press, and co-editor a new book on Transitions between Non-Living and Living Matter, to be published by MIT press 2007.