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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.

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

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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