Evolutionary biology is under-pinned by an elegant framework of theoretical models that predict the dynamics of within-population change. Testing this theory empirically is challenging, but I aim to show here how long-term, individual-based studies of wild populations offer unparalleled opportunities for doing so. I explore our current understanding of the theory’s fundamental ingredients: levels of genetic variance, the process of natural selection, and patterns of variation in fitness in the wild. These analyses indicate important – and interesting – implications Of the reality of natural environments for evolutionary dynamics. The talk will contain results about fairy-wrens.
This talk is a practice run for 2018 Presidents’ Award plenary at the Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier in August 2018, and your feedback is welcome!