Laboratory of Artificial & Natural Evolution

Welcome to the Milinkovitch-Tzika lab website (the Laboratory of Artificial & Natural Evolution — LANE). In a nutshell, our highly multidisciplinary team of biologists, bioinformaticians, physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians investigates the developmental and evolutionary mechanisms generating Life’s complexity and diversity (or maybe should I say ‘Life’s Beauty’). We investigate multiple non-classical model species, mainly reptiles and ‘exotic’ mammals, that can inform us on yet unknown exciting biological and physical processes generating this complex and diverse living world.

Central to our reasoning is that a proper understanding of the complexity and diversity of organismal forms cannot be achieved without integrating the physical constrains acting on the developmental and Darwinian processes. Our research requires integrating data and methods from comparative genomics, molecular developmental genetics, as well as physical experiments, mathematical modelling and numerical simulations. More specifically, we investigate the interactions between physical (mechanics, reaction-diffusion) and biological (cell signalling, proliferation) mechanisms that generate and constrain the variety and complexity of skin appendages (scales, hairs, spines), skin colours (pigmentary and structural), and skin colour patterns in tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates).

Use the navigation bar at the top of the page, to explore our research topics (what we do), our scientific approach and animal models (how we do it), our scientific motivation (why we do it), and our team (who does it).

What's new?

  • How the dragon got its frill

    June 25th, 2019

    We uncover the developmental process generating the Chamydosaurus frill.

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  • How the dragon got its frill - The Movie

    June 25th, 2019

    A movie illustrates our work on the Chamydosaurus lizard

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  • The evolution of snake skin nano-structures

    May 10th, 2019

    We characterize the complexity and diversity of surface nano-gratings in 353 species of snakes.

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  • Michel Milinkovitch receives an ERC Advanced Grant

    April 2nd, 2019

    The EVOMOPHYS project aims at identifying the drivers of Life’s morphological complexity and diversity.

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