Santa Fe Institute
1399 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
If one were to glance over my papers, two major recurring themes are apparent: evolution and information. It is quite amazing to me that I never conciously decided to focus on studying information - I simply encountered it in almost every one of my research projects. Once this was discovered, I am now taking a more active approach into studying the evolution of information processing.
My main interest in biology is studying the process of evolution. It is arguable whether the process of evolution existed before there was life on earth. What is less arguable is that it was different from the process which exists today. This is one example where one can see that evolution changes over time. I am interested in studying these changes - when, how, and why they happen. Questions which are linked to this subject are questions concerning the origin of life, the origin of multicellularity and of (eu)-social behaviour in animals, and of the origins and maintenance of sexual reproduction.
How do organisms transit from competing in the process of evolution, to become a new organism in which they cooperate? This happened many times in Nature. Multi-cellularity evolved separately many times (plants and animals are two of these). The same happened withwasps, termites, and many other animals which formed eu-social groups. Some say that similar processes where at work in the creation of the eucariotic cells, and in the formation of cells in general.
My research has been in the following fields: