‘Signal selection – a complementary selection mechanism and its unique creative potential in evolution’


Professor Amotz Zahavi

(Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Israel)

Abstract: Darwin realized that it was not possible to explain the evolution of certain traits, especially those of sexual extravagance, by the selection for efficiency only. He therefore suggested that an additional selection mechanism –Sexual Selection, was responsible for these traits.  When I discovered the Handicap principle I soon realised that this principle encompassed all signals and not only traits that were considered to be selected through Sexual Selection.  Unfortunately most evolutionary biologists fail to realise that evolution proceeds by two distinct selection mechanisms rather than a single one. The selection of signals, unlike the selection of all other traits, is vulnerable to inflation, i.e. signals can be selected out if all signallers can signal equally well.

Date: October 20th 2010, 5pm-6pm

Location: JZ Young Lecture Theatre (Anatomy Department, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT) MAP

This event is free and all are welcome!

* Click here to view event flyer.