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What’s in a Name? Glimmers of Evolution, U‑M Researcher Finds

May 31, 2022

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5-15 mins
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Presented by Michigan News

Ever wonder how baby names and evolution might be related? Mitchell Newberry, a professor and evolutionary biologist at U-M explains how examining trends in the popularity of baby names and dog breeds can be a proxy for understanding ecological and evolutionary change. The faculty expert recently analyzed data from the Social Security Administration baby name database, finding that the more popular a name becomes, the less likely future parents are to follow suit, and the same with dog breeds. Newberry discusses his research and the concept of frequency-dependent selection.

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