What we do

We combine Evolutionary and Developmental Biology as well as genomic approaches with the study of Physical Processes to understand the mechanisms generating life’s complexity and diversity. The self-organizational capabilities of tissues are pertinent to EvoDevo at multiple spatial scales. We aim to understand the interactions between physical (e.g., mechanics, reaction diffusion) and biological (e.g., cell signalling, proliferation, migration) parameters, which generate patterns and shapes during development. Our multidisciplinary team includes Evolutionary and Developmental Biologists, Computer Scientists, Engineers, and Physicists.

Highlights 2017

During the course of 2017, our lab:

  • produced a high-quality / high-coverage sequencing and annotation of the corn snake genome;
  • performed linkage mapping and characterization of several mutations in the corn snake that affect colour and colour patterns;
  • demonstrated that reaction-diffusion on non-planar geometry can generate cellular automata in living systems

Find out more about the Group’s activities

Main publications 2017

  • Manukyan L et al. A Living Mesoscopic Cellular Automaton Made of Skin Scales. Nature 544, 7649 : 173–179 (2017)
  • Daljit Singh J et al. Bifurcation Analysis of Reaction Diffusion Systems on Arbitrary Surfaces. Bull Math Biol. 779 : 788–827 (2017)


University geneva

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

Domains of activity:

  • Systems biology
  • Comparative genomics
  • Evo-Devo
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Experimental biology
  • Machine learning
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Phylogeny
  • Software engineering
  • Transcriptomics
  • Biophysics

Domain of application:

  • Basic research