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Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner discusses the adaptability of species at the XI Peregrí Casanova Memorial

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • April 26th, 2022
Andreas Wagner.

The Charles Darwin Room of the Burjassot-Paterna Campus of the University of Valencia (UV) hosts this Wednesday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. the presentation Evolvability, Robustness and Natural Selection by Andreas Wagner, within the framework of the XI Peregrí Casanova Memorial on Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology.

Andreas Wagner, professor at the Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich will try to show whether the evolutionary process can be the subject of Darwinian evolution. To do this, “we need to find out how natural selection can affect evolution”, he says. The research promulgated by Wagner and his team reveals an experimental progress of the species and shows how natural selection has an impact on improving development.

“We have subjected the evolving population to high-throughput DNA sequencing, studied evolutionary dynamics and examined genetic variants by means of biochemical assays”, confirms Andreas Wagner. In addition, the study shows that “natural selection can improve the robustness of biological systems to mutations”, he adds.

The Peregrí Casanova Memorial is being held again after 3 years due to the restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with an XI edition. The act honours the person who was professor of Anatomy at the University of Valencia, introducer of evolutionist ideas and organiSer of the tribute to Darwin at the institution in 1909.

Peregrí Casanova i Ciurana (Valencia, 1848-1919) was a follower of Darwin and a rigorous evolutionist, while he managed to make Valencia a peninsular centre for disseminating this theory. Furthermore, his work and his publications covered the field of Medicine, especially Morphology. The UV Health Sciences Library bears his name.

The XI Peregrí Casanova Memorial is organised by the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) and the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit of the University of Valencia (UCC+i). The Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain, the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the UV and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECyT) also collaborate.