Lost in high dimensions: How to measure phenotypic variation in evolution and development?
Friday seminar by Philipp Mitteröcker from Universität Wien
Concepts of phenotypic variation are central to many biological and biomedical disciplines, including evolutionary biology and ecology. A biologically meaningful measurement of phenotypic variation, however, is surprisingly challenging, especially for high-dimensional data. I demonstrate problems in the interpretation of such statistics and present criteria to evaluate biological meaningfulness. I use this framework to analyze classic concepts in evolutionary biology. I further present a multivariate strategy to assess phenotypic variation from morphometric data, which I apply to study developmental canalization and selection in the human cranium.
Department of Theoretical Biology