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Integrative and Comparative Biology 2009 C. Schwenk, D.K. Padilla, G.S. Bakken, R.J. Full.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrative and Comparative Biology 2009 C. Schwenk, D.K. Padilla, G.S. Bakken, R.J. Full."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrative and Comparative Biology 2009 C. Schwenk, D.K. Padilla, G.S. Bakken, R.J. Full

2 Organisms are the level of integration of biological function and development And are integrators of environmental factors and feedbacks Organisms are the level of creative biodiversity Since the time of Darwin - recognized as the units on which natural selection acts driving evolution and adaptation

3 Our list of grand challenges not unique and not the only questions of importance Focus on Organismal Biology Distilled from dialog and discussion with many colleagues in and out of SICB True collaborative effort

4 Each grand challenge transcends any single area of study - but will depend upon knowledge within most traditional areas of study Need integrative and interdisciplanary approaches, thinking and information not only within biology, but also with other fields Will require new information, dialog across traditional disciplines and possible new disciplines

5 Understanding the organism’s role in organism-environment linkages Organism-environment feedbacks Organismal responses to environmental changes including climatic change Mechanisms of organismal resilience / fragility Responses at different time scales: behavior, acclimation, plasticity, adaptation

6 Understanding how organisms walk the tightrope between stability and change Paradox of evolutionary integration/stability and adaptation/evolvability Modular organization and overlapping domains Inter-modular linkages, robustness and adaptive flexibility Systems-level behavior of organisms

7 Integrating living and physical systems analysis Organismal complexity in time and space requires new methods of systems analysis Application of the theory of mathematical and physical sciences to organismal questions Application of biological design principles and systems to engineering and computation Interdisciplinary research and education, e.g., quantitative modeling and robotics

8 Utilizing the functional diversity of organisms Organisms successful outcomes of evolutionary testing (solutions to the the problems of life) Biodiversity as a storehouse of adaptive solutions to environmental and other problems Improving bioprospecting - integration of phylogenetic and organismal studies

9 Understanding how genomes produce organisms Mechanisms of whole-organism development from genes and genomes Generation and evolution of phenotypic diversity and the links between genotype and phenotype New diverse ‘model’ species and systems, and approaches/techniques for non-models

10 What do we need for 21st Century Organismal Biology? What will be essential for us to make progress and address the Grand Challenges?

11 Maintain Focus on Organismal Biology Recognition of and support for importance of Organismal Research addressing all questions Recognition by Universities and Departments of the essential nature of organismal and integrative research in hiring, retention, and internal support We need to inform and promote the role and importance of organismal biology to non-organismal biologists, other scientists, and the general public

12 Train of Students in Organismal Biology and Integration - who have the skills and framework for addressing GC questions and working in an interdisciplinary framework Rethink our models of training students so they are prepared to take on this challenge Maintain training in essential organismal biology and in interdisciplanary biology and thinking as well as collaboration Development of new courses, replacement of lost courses and lost organismal expertise

13 From L. Tomanek Lab

14 From B. Helmuth Lab

15 New Tools and Opportunities and Support for Tool Development and Transfer For many Grand Challenges, advances are stymied due to a lack of tools, or ready availability of tools needed to address essential questions Robinson et al. 2010, Tools for 21st Century Biology, In Review

16 Examples and Types of tools: New model systems and species Ability to use tools from models on non-model species and system Instrumentation that operates at biologically relevant scales for within organism measurements as well as environmental data collection at biologically relevant scales in real time

17 Tools to fully use and mine the massive amounts of data collected - e.g., genomic, environmental and remote sensing data Tools to translate genomic data into information useful for understanding organismal development and function People tools - scientists trained in fields and across fields, and in collaboration

18 Tools that will enhance cross- and trans- disciplinary dialog and research needed to address the grand challenges Synthesis/Catalysis type center Platform for bringing broad range of scientists together to find common ground, needs and possible existing solutions Platform/mechanism for facilitating interdisciplinary linkages within biology and from biology to other fields

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