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

George McGhee
KLI Colloquia
Limits and Directionality in Evolution: A Theoretical Perspective
George McGHEE (Rutgers University & KLI)
2016-06-09 16:30 - 2016-06-09 18:00
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
In this talk I shall argue that the number of potential evolutionary pathways available to life are not endless, but in fact are quite limited. Limits in evolution are determined by functional and developmental constraints, or by both working in concert, and these limits produce a directionality component to biological evolution. I shall further argue that evolution is neither directionless and unpredictable nor directed and predetermined, but rather directional in a probabilistic fashion.


Biographical note:
George McGhee is Distinguished Professor of Paleobiology at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA), where he is a member of the Geological Sciences, Ecology & Evolution, and Oceanography graduate faculties. He completed the Master’s degree in paleontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the PhD at the University of Rochester, working under the direction of Professor David M. Raup. He conducted pre-doctoral research with Professor Adolf Seilacher’s Konstruktionsmorphologie research group at the University of Tübingen, and following his doctoral work he has held the positions of Visiting Scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History (New York), and Visiting Professor at the University of Tübingen.

Dr. McGhee is the author of over 150 research publications, and 5 research books: The Late Devonian Mass Extinction, When the Invasion of Land Failed: The Legacy of the Devonian Extinction, and Theoretical Morphology: The Concept and Its Applications, all published by Columbia University Press (New York); The Geometry of Evolution: Adaptive Landscapes and Theoretical Morphospaces, published by Cambridge University Press (England); and Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful, published by MIT in the Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology.