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Identifying how Evolution exploits physical properties of tissues to generate the complexity and diversity of Life

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EVOMORPHYS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EVOMORPHYS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EVOMORPHYS" about.

geometry    morphologies    physical    colour    artificial    silico    crispr    phenotypes    effect    mutants    claim    biology    alife    cas9    experiments    evolutionary    numerical    newtonian    signalling    configurations    diffusion    mathematical    drivers    generating    darwinian    fundamental    framework    polymeric    patterns    explored    pattern    principles    correspondences    events    life    imaging    geometries    simulations    first    reaction    gels    migration    morphological    complexity    explores    algorithm    explore    lizard    generate    evomorphys    model    functional    evolution    exploits    constitute    species    combine    patterning    morphogenesis    synthesis    proliferation    genetic    question    extensive    mechanics    performing    generates    3d    systematically    answering    scaleless    my    physics    latter    diversity    captures    compute    modify    interactions    layered    living    ended    laboratory    coupling    forms    cell    space    biological    squamate    multiple    embryonic    symmetry    skin    models    breaking   

Project "EVOMORPHYS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENEVE
postcode: 1211

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 2˙499˙070 €
 EC max contribution 2˙499˙070 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-08-01   to  2024-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE CH (GENEVE) coordinator 2˙499˙070.00


 Project objective

My project focuses on answering one fundamental question: what are the drivers of Life’s morphological complexity and diversity? I claim that this question can only be addressed by a Newtonian-Darwinian synthesis that considers how Evolution exploits the physical properties of living matter. I will investigate how the evolutionary process explores the phase space of possible interactions between physical (mechanics, reaction-diffusion) and biological (cell signalling, proliferation, migration) processes and generates configurations that compute functional phenotypes. In particular, I will combine experiments in biology and physics, as well as mathematical models and Artificial-Life (ALife) numerical simulations. The latter will be based on physics’ first principles, symmetry-breaking processes and a genetic algorithm. First, I will investigate how geometry affects signalling by (i) imaging the embryonic development of colour patterns and skin geometries of multiple squamate species with various scale-to-colour pattern correspondences, (ii) generating CRISPR/Cas9 scaleless mutants in two lizard species to study the effect of skin 3D geometry on colour patterning, and (iii) performing ALife experiments to explore how the evolutionary process can modify signalling events and exploit geometry to generate new patterns. Second, I will analyse how growth can affect geometry by (i) performing in-silico experiments where coupling between growth and morphogenesis is systematically explored and (ii) evaluating how much the in-silico model captures morphologies generated with physics laboratory experiments using 3D layered polymeric gels. Third, I will build a Newtonian-Darwinian framework by coupling geometry, signalling, growth and mechanics in extensive open-ended ALife experiments. The results of the EVOMORPHYS project will constitute a novel framework for understanding how Evolution exploits physics to generate the morphological diversity and complexity of Life forms.

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The information about "EVOMORPHYS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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