Monday, 27 October 2014

New paper: parallel evolution by non-parallel routes

Elmer, K. R., Fan, S., Kusche, H., Spreitzer, M.-L., Kautt, A. F., Franchini, P., & Meyer, A. (2014). Parallel evolution of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes by non-parallel routes. Nature Communications 5: 5168. 

Published today:
Is the outcome of evolution predictable? If one would rewind the tape of life, would evolution result in the same outcome? The Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould came up with this famous thought experiment. He suggested that evolution would not repeat itself: the role of random processes in the origin of biodiversity was too important and hence evolution was not predictable. Here we described parallel evolution of two closely related, but geographically isolated populations of cichlid fish in Nicaraguan crater lakes. This repeated outcome of evolution is best interpreted as evidence for similar adaptation to similar Darwinian natural selection pressure – and suggests somewhat deterministic evolutionary trajectories. [from Uni Konstanz media office]

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in a pdf of the paper, as it is not yet open access.

Also in Der Speigel


  1. and covered today in Der Spiegel

  2. This paper was selected as a Faculty of 1000 Prime as a Recommended Article by ecologist Nicolas Loeuille.
    My favourite part is the tags: "Controversial" also "good for teaching" and "new finding"