Increasing our ability to predict contemporary evolution

Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 5;11(1):5592. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19437-x.


Classic debates concerning the extent to which scientists can predict evolution have gained new urgency as environmental changes force species to adapt or risk extinction. We highlight how our ability to predict evolution can be constrained by data limitations that cause poor understanding of deterministic natural selection. We then emphasize how such data limits can be reduced with feasible empirical effort involving a combination of approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Environment
  • Forecasting
  • Genetics, Population
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Selection, Genetic