Stand Alone Conference of the American Society of Naturalists
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California, 5-9 January 2018
Symposium I: Maladaptive Evolution
Saturday, 6 January 2018, 1:00-5:45 PM
Throughout the history of evolutionary biology, scientists have marveled at adaptation and trained their sights on the ways that natural selection shapes the evolution of fitness advantages. Indeed, the terms adaptation and evolution have become nearly synonymous. By contrast, the processes and occurrences of maladaptation (the evolution of relative and absolute fitness declines) have received less attention. This relative lack of inquiry into maladaptation is surprising when we consider that the overwhelming majority of species that have ever existed are now extinct, making clear the inescapable and pervasive nature of maladaptation. Indeed, literature reviews indicate that even in contexts where local adaptation is expected, maladaptation is present in about 1/3 of the cases. Maladaptation, it seems, is as much a product of evolutionary dynamics as is adaptation.
Symposium II: 150 Years Of The American Naturalist
Sunday, 7 January 2018, 1:00-5:45 PM & Monday, 8 January 2018, 1:00-5:45 PM
The American Naturalist is the oldest scientific journal published in North America. Over its 150-year history, the journal has had a huge impact on how we understand the natural world. To celebrate the journal’s past impact, and chart its current course and future, we will hold a symposium at the Asilomar meeting, on the afternoons of January 7 and 8. Rather than organizing the symposium around a single theme, we will showcase some of the breadth of ideas published in the journal. Each talk will highlight one or more influential past papers published in The American Naturalist. The talks will trace the history of how the classic paper(s) have affected the field in general, the speaker’s own work, and the future of the field. We solicited applications for the talks, placing particular weight on attracting proposals by junior researchers. Applications were reviewed by a committee.