The Milinkovitch - Tzika Lab
Laboratory of Artificial & Natural Evolution - LANE

Welcome to the LANE website. 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 biological and physical processes generating this complex and diverse living world.

Central to our reasoning is that a proper understanding of morphogenesis cannot be achieved without integrating the physical constrains acting on the developmental and Darwinian processes. More specifically, we investigate the interactions between physical (mechanics, reaction-diffusion, photonics) 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).

Our research requires integrating data and methods from comparative genomics, molecular developmental genetics, as well as physical experiments, mathematical modelling and numerical simulations.

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?

  • Our research in 'National Geographic'

    October 31st, 2017

    Discovery of the evolutionary link between hairs, feathers and scales

    Read more…
  •, the movie

    September 12th, 2017

    The program is now coming to an end and a movie illustrates some of the research funded by SystemsX.

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  • The corn snake genome

    August 30th, 2017

    Our step-by-step guide for assembling the corn snake genome is out

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  • Our research covered by the American Mathematical Society

    August 23rd, 2017

    The American Mathematical Society covers the discovery of the existence of a living cellular automaton on the skin of ocellated lizards.

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