Illiam Jackson – new postdoc

I’m Illiam Jackson and have just started my position as a post-doc with the
Uller Group after completing my PhD at Uppsala University. My PhD was an
investigation into morphological evolution in the Cambrian. It focused on
exploring concepts in evolutionary theory not previously examined in a
palaeontological context such as stabilizing selection and genetic assimilation.

Using a morphometric approach to quantifying and analyzing changes of shape
between closely related species as well as within a single species through time,
the project illustrated the potential for new modes of analysis that quantify
morphological variation along continuous spectra rather than into discrete units
and characters.

The interpretation of the project’s results was conducted in the conceptual
framework of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis and identified patterns of
phenotypic plasticity and subsequent accommodation, or genetic assimilation,
consistent with those predicted by a model of evolution that incorporates a
reciprocal relationship between development and environment. In other words, the
results suggest that developmental bias and phenotypic plasticity may play very
important roles in evolution even, or especially, across geological timescales.

My work with the Uller Group will continue the study of these topics as well as
working towards synthesizing this deep-time perspective with the fields of
evolutionary biology and theory. I will also be collaborating with other group
members by employing and developing the morphometric methods mentioned above in
the study of extant organisms.

I have a broad background in evolutionary biology and even broader interest so
please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss or ask anything,
or have ideas for potential collaboration!

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