Priority Research Area
The main objectives of the priority research area Evolutionary Systems Biology at the University of Potsdam are threefold:
- to promote internationally competitive research in Evolutionary Systems Biology at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam
- to attract and train highly promising junior researchers and group leaders in this emerging field,
- to establish the University of Potsdam as a leading institution in Evolutionary Systems Biology.
To understand how biodiversity came about through evolution, it is necessary to explain how the underlying molecular and cellular networks have changed to produce the diversity of living organisms. Such an understanding will facilitate systematic improvements to crop plants and livestock that were not possible before.
The overarching goal of evolutionary systems biology is to bring concepts and techniques of systems biology to bear on evolutionary questions and at the same time to propel further developments in systems biology by appropriating quantitative approaches from evolutionary genetics.
The specific aims of the priority research area Evolutionary Systems Biology at the University of Potsdam are twofold:
1. to study the extent to which phenotypic differences between organisms have arisen due to natural selection at the level of quantitative changes to the underlying molecular networks, and
2. to understand whether an emerging property of robustness, plasticity, and trade-offs of and between traits can be realized by different network architectures in independently evolved organisms.