Manfred D. Laubichler

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This paper reviews the scientific career of Rupert Riedl and his contributions to evolutionary biology. Rupert Riedl, a native of Vienna, Austria, began his career as a marine biologist who made important contributions to the systematics and anatomy of major invertebrate groups, as well as to marine ecology. When he assumed a professorship at the University(More)
The evolution and development of complex phenotypes in social insect colonies, such as queen-worker dimorphism or division of labor, can, in our opinion, only be fully understood within an expanded mechanistic framework of Developmental Evolution. Conversely, social insects offer a fertile research area in which fundamental questions of Developmental(More)
In this article we argue that an organismic perspective in character identification can alleviate a structural deficiency of mathematical models in biology relative to the ones in the physical sciences. The problem with many biological theories is that they do not contain the conditions of their validity or a method of identifying objects that are(More)
SYNOPSIS. Developmental Evolution (DE) contributes to various research programs in biology, such as the assessment of homology and the determination of the genetic architecture underlying species differences. The most distinctive contribution offered by DE to evolutionary biology, however, is the elucidation of the role of developmental mechanisms in the(More)
Theodor Boveri's major intellectual contribution was his focus on the causality of nuclear chromosomal determinants for embryological development. His initial experimental attempt to demonstrate that the character of the developing embryo is determined by nuclear rather than cytoplasmic factors was launched in 1889. The experimental design was to fertilize(More)
The difference in phenotypes of queens and workers is a hallmark of the highly eusocial insects. The caste dimorphism is often described as a switch-controlled polyphenism, in which environmental conditions decide an individual's caste. Using theoretical modeling and empirical data from honeybees, we show that there is no discrete larval developmental(More)
Contrary to concerns of some critics, we present evidence that biomedical research is not dominated by a small handful of model organisms. An exhaustive analysis of research literature suggests that the diversity of experimental organisms in biomedical research has increased substantially since 1975. There has been a longstanding worry that organism-centric(More)
Epistasis is defined as the influence of the genotype at one locus on the effect of a mutation at another locus. As such it plays a crucial role in a variety of evolutionary phenomena such as speciation, population bottle necks, and the evolution of genetic architecture (i.e., the evolution of dominance, canalization, and genetic correlations). In(More)
Scientific theories seek to provide simple explanations for significant empirical regularities based on fundamental physical and mechanistic constraints. Biological theories have rarely reached a level of generality and predictive power comparable to physical theories. This discrepancy is explained through a combination of frozen accidents, environmental(More)