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) processes 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 lizards got their skin colour patterns

    November 14th, 2022

    In the journal Current Biology, we quantify the predictability of scale-by-scale patterns in multiple divergent species of lizards.

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  • Grigorii wins the 2022 Nikon Small World Competition

    October 11th, 2022

    The 48th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition’s first place prize was awarded to Grigorii Timin, a PhD student at the LANE.

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  • Open position for a 3D Technical Artist / Engineer

    June 10th, 2022

    We offer a position for a 3D Technical Artist / Engineer passionate about VR, game engines and scientific data visualisation.

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  • Two open PostDoc positions

    June 3rd, 2022

    We offer two PostDoc positions, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNSF) and the Human Frontier Science Programme (HFSP)

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