[S14] Fitness landscapes, big data and the predictability of evolution
 
Evolutionary biology has become increasingly powerful in inferring past evolutionary processes from patterns in present-day genomes. However, forecasting evolution’s future routes remains an exciting intellectual challenge with substantial implications for global health and species conservation. The concept of the fitness landscape has been central to recent studies of the predictability of evolution, and has inspired evolutionary biologists and mathematicians alike. Combining microbial experimental evolution with next-generation sequencing, efforts have now been made to rigorously test for the repeatability and dynamics of evolution. At the same time, theoretical studies try to provide the necessary navigational tools for exploring the terra incognita of molecular evolutionary biology. This symposium aims to identify the key issues and challenges -- both methodological and theoretical – to advance our understanding of the predictability of evolution, particularly in the light of "big data”. We anticipate that insights from our symposium will stimulate and direct future studies of the predictability of evolution. With next-generation sequencing on board, fitness landscapes are heading for new shores: It’s now time to check whether "there be dragons”!
 
Organizers: Santiago Elena, Inęs Fragata, Sebastian Matuszewski, Arjan de Visser
 
Invited speakers: Michael Lässig, Thomas Bataillon