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?

  • 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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  • Promotional video of the Division of Biology

    October 21st, 2021

    We are thrilled to present you the new promotional film of the Division of Biology we are part of

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  • How elephants use their trunk

    August 23rd, 2021

    Our quantitative analysis of the biomechanical and functional morphology of the elephant trunk is published today in Current Biology.

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  • How the lizard gets its pattern

    April 23rd, 2021

    Our 3D numerical simulations of the ocellated lizard skin colour patterning process are published today in Nature Communications.

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