Michel Milinkovitch
Artificial & Natural Evolutionary Development of Complexity Group
University of Geneva
Group Webpage

What do we do?

For more than 10 years, our core activities at the Artificial & Natural Evolutionary Development of Complexity Group revolved around the production of experimental data and the development of tools and algorithms in Evolutionary Genetics. Since 2008, we additionally combine evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) and the study of physical processes to understand the mechanisms generating complexity and diversity in the living world. We specialize in non-classical model species in reptiles and mammals and we integrate data and analyses from comparative genomics, molecular developmental genetics, as well as computer modelling and numerical simulations.

Highlights 2015

During the course of 2015, our lab:

  • sequenced the corn snake genome;
  • established the Reptilian transcriptome database v2.0;
  • discovered the physical process which underlies colour change in chameleons;
  • developed R2OBBIE-3D (a Fast Robotic High-Resolution System for Quantitative Phenotyping of Surface Geometry and Colour-Texture);
  • and completed the first linkage mapping and characterization of a colour mutation in the corn snake.

Several of these highlights are illustrated on videos.

Main publications 2015

  • Saenko S.V et al. Amelanism in the corn snake is associated with the insertion of an LTR-retrotransposon in the OCA2 gene. Sci Rep 2015;5:17118.
  • Teyssier J et al. Photonic Crystals Cause Active Colour Change in Chameleons. Nat Commun 2015;6:6368.
  • Tzika AC et al. Reptilian Transcriptomes v2.0: An Extensive Resource for Sauropsida Genomics and Transcriptomics Genome Biol Evol 2015;7(6):1827-41.

Our research topics: