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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.

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

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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