Gene regulation and evolution: mutual interaction across time-scales

Populations adapt to a variable environment by various processes operating on different time-scales, i.e. by metabolic regulation (in seconds), gene regulation (minutes), and evolution (days-millennia). The aim of the here proposed research is to get insights in how these processes interact and possibly facilitate each other.
Previous research has shown that populations which interact locally in space are more prone to evolve complex regulatory systems (i.e. those capable of 'emergent computation') than the most often studied (and applied) well mixed systems, which tend to employ evolutionary means for adaptation. However the dynamics of such spatial evolutionary processes are not yet well understood.
Our research strategy will be to use the recent insights obtained from various 'genomics' studies (comparative whole genome analysis, micro-arrays,knock-out screens etc.) in the design, initialization and/or fitness evaluation of evolutionary models. We aim to understand to what extent observed design features of the studied genomes are 'generic' and to what extent they are historical accidents or 'special purpose' features.

In this area we have a postion for a Post-Doc for 4 years. Candidates for the funtion have preferentially a background both in biology and in computation. Essential is moreover a strong interest in fundamental research.

For further information contact Prof. Dr. P. Hogeweg ( For related work look at our website (