Studying microbial ecology and evolution across multiple levels

Month: February 2019

The creative evolution of digital organisms

Experimental evolution at Montpellier 

On the 22nd of August (2018), I had the pleasure to present work on Virtual Microbes at II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology. It was very inspiring to finally meet some of the people who designed/conducted the awesome experimental evolution studies I came to know and love over the past 5-10 years. It was also somewhat a relief to see how, vice versa, Virtual Microbes were well received by said experimentalists. Before this becomes any more self-serving, I’d just like to share this tweet by Vaughn Cooper: “Evolved populations learn to trust us, but die if not fed”. I could not have put it any better 🙂

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Is the whole more, or less than the sum of its parts?

If you have ever heard about emergence, you have likely come across the phrase “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. The idea is simple. If a collection of small parts give rise to something with more complex traits, the system does more than one could have expected from any of the smaller parts. Here I discuss some simple computer models to illustrate how one could also argue for the opposite view: the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

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