DETERMINE: Dissecting evolutionary rates across time: Bridging micro- and macroevolution

About the project

Species are currently experiencing environmental changes due to anthropogenic influence, changes that will continue for unknown time spans. Fossils are the only data we have to understand how earlier life forms have coped with previous changes in their environment.

Given this backdrop, there is something deeply disconcerting about the current state of knowledge on how we understand the evolutionary potential of species over different time scales. A dominating view of the fossil record is that species remain very similar during their existence, with changes mainly happening during speciation events.

This pattern contrasts with the enormous potential for evolution observed on shorter time scales. In short, why do we observe so little evolutionary change in the fossil record when we have been able to produce substantial evolutionary change over only a few generations in the lab?


The DETERMINE project will use a combination of conceptually novel approaches together with more established methodology to investigate whether the evolutionary potential of species is actually different across time. Part of the project involves analyzing hundreds of ancestor-descendent time series.


Results from the DETEMINE project will reduce the divide between our understanding of evolution on short (microevolution) and long timescales (macroevolution), and will enable better predictions on how species can be expected to cope with the ongoing global environmental changes over different time intervals.


This Project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) FRIMEDBIO

RCN Project Number: 249961 (Project data bank at RCN)

UiO Project Number: 144250


01.04.16 - 31.12.2020

Published Jan. 15, 2021 12:44 PM - Last modified Feb. 2, 2021 10:06 AM