a symposium at ESEB 2001, the 8th Congress of the

 European Society for Evolutionary Biology in

Aarhus, Denmark


Recent empirical evidence and theoretical insights revolutionise our understanding of the process of speciation. New data highlight the widespread role of adaptation in speciation, indicate that sexual selection may be responsible for extensive radiations, and lend support to the long-rejected idea of sympatric speciation. Significant theoretical advances include the plausibility of reinforcement based on multilocus simulation models. New models of sexual selection demonstrate fast speciation both in sympatry and in allopatry. Novel mechanisms are proposed to facilitate the evolution of host races. Ecological conditions of non-allopatric speciation now can be tested by a new theoretical adaptive dynamic framework that is capable to model evolutionary branching, the clonal equivalent of speciation. A new theory of allopatric speciation on 'holey' adaptive landscapes formalises, for the first time, the idea of speciation by slowly accumulating neutral allele substitutions. This symposium aims to present a snapshot of our fast developing insights into the origin of species.


Invited speakers:


(1) Ulf Dieckmann & Michael Doebeli (Adaptive Dynamics Network, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria; Dept. Zoology, University of British Columbia, Canada):

New models of sympatric speciation: From pattern to process


(2) Tadeusz Kawecki (University of Basel, Switzerland):

Host races and arms races


(3) George Turner (University of Southampton, UK):

Can models of speciation help explain why some lineages radiate more rapidly and extensively than others?



*  Contact the symposium organiser: Eva Kisdi (, Dept. of Mathematics, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland. Co-organisers are Sergey Gavrilets (Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Dept. of Mathematics, University of Tennessee, USA) and Stefan Geritz (Dept. of Mathematics, University of Turku, Finland)

* See the Congress homepage

* See abstracts