Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jessica Flack, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Abstract: A central problem in evolutionary theory is why life is hierarchically organized. This problem can be decomposed into four somewhat separate issues (1) the causes of the emergence of novel, functionally important spatial and temporal scales, (2) the reification of these scales into new organizational levels, (3) the multi-level selection problem, and (4) transitions to new kinds of individuality. In this talk, I will focus on (1) and (2), using data from an animal society model system to illustrate how adaptive macroscopic properties can arise as many individuals simultaneously coarse-grain over microscopic interactions to reduce uncertainty and tune decision-making strategies.