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NIMBioS Seminar Series

In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

S. Kawano photo.

Time/Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. Sandy Kawano, NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellow
Topic: Towards a unified approach for quantifying phenotypic selection
Abstract: Phenotypic selection is a major driver of adaptive evolution, and plays an important role in generating biodiversity. Despite the multitude of studies on selection analyses and the achievement of various milestones in estimating selection, recent attempts to capture the complexity of selection have made it evident that there are a number of challenges that evolutionary biologists still face. In particular, synthetic analyses have determined that many studies may be overlooking the effects of selection on variances and covariances by omitting nonlinear selection analyses, and that unmeasured traits can change the strength of selection in measured traits. There can be substantial barriers to conducting nonlinear selection analyses due to mathematical and analytical limitations, and some argue that the solution may compromise biological interpretations. A number of new methods have been developed to address some of these issues, but a consensus is yet to be reached. Also, it is currently unknown how changing different modeling parameters affect measures of phenotypic selection. In this talk, I describe the general framework applied to quantify phenotypic selection, existing challenges, and proposed methods for developing a more systematic approach to measure phenotypic selection.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m. in Room 205.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

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S. Kawano.

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NSF logo. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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