How predictable is evolution?
Biological evolution is an intricate interplay of deterministic and stochastic processes. As a consequence, predicting evolution
is difficult even on relatively short time scales, as was recently exemplified by the evolution of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
Nevertheless, laboratory evolution experiments with bacteria are beginning to shed some light on the potential and limits of
evolutionary predictions. In the colloquium the basic concepts underlying such experiments will be explained in a way that
is accessible to a broad physics audience. I will then describe two recent studies illustrating aspects of
predictability in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. The role of mathematical theory in the interpretation of the results
will be emphasized, and links to concepts of statistical physics will be pointed out.