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 study 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?

  • An HFSP grant to study reptilian coloration

    March 21st, 2022

    Dr. Athanasia Tzika is awarded an HFSP grant to study reptilian coloration

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  • The mathematical simplicity of lizard camouflage

    January 28th, 2022

    We uncover the amazing parallels between ferromagnetism modeling and lizard skin colour patterning

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  • The corn snake genome is now in the DNA Zoo

    January 13th, 2022

    Corn snakes juste became member of the DNA Zoo !

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  • Motor control: Elephant trunks ignore the many and choose a few

    November 15th, 2021

    Prof. Scott Hooper (Ohio University, USA) discusses the importance on our recent results on elephant trunk biomechanics

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