KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Berta Verd
KLI Colloquia
A Dynamical Systems Approach to EvoDevo
Berta VERD (KLI)
2016-12-15 16:30 - 2016-12-15 18:00
Organized by KLI

Topic description: 
Waddington’s epigenetic landscape is an intuitive metaphor for the developmental and evolutionary potential of biological regulatory processes. It emphasises time-dependence and transient behaviour. Nowadays, we can derive this landscape by modelling a specific regulatory network as a dynamical system and calculating its so-called potential surface. In this sense, potential surfaces are the mathematical equivalent of the Waddingtonian landscape metaphor. In order to fully capture the time-dependent (non-autonomous) transient behaviour of biological processes, we must be able to characterise potential landscapes and how they change over time. In this talk, I will present a methodological framework that I developed as part of my PhD project which allows us to classify different transient behaviours in non-autonomous systems. I will then briefly show how applying this framework to the gap gene network in flies is helping us understand the evolution of the different modes of segmentation in arthropods. I will use this work to argue that dynamical systems concepts are especially well-suited for the study of EvoDevo, and to try to illustrate the need for a primer bringing these two disciplines together.


Biographical note:
Berta Verd holds a Bachelor´s degree in Mathematics from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona and Master´s degrees from Kings College as well as Imperial College, London. She worked on her PhD thesis at the Centre for Genomic Regulation at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. She has recently completed her PhD and is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the KLI.