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?

  • National Geographic Readers: Animals That Change Color

    April 27th, 2020

    Michel Milinkovitch served as the scientific advisor for the content of this issue of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS magazine.

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  • PhD in Life Sciences Summer Call 2020

    March 24th, 2020

    We are pleased to announce the next call for applications to the PhD School of Life Sciences at the Faculties of Medicine and Science - University of Geneva

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  • The secrets of the iridescent egg sac revealed

    February 14th, 2020

    We identify that a 3D photonics structure in the egg-sac envelope of Hida salamanders causes visible iridescence is water and UV iridescence in air.

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  • The elephant’s trunk will inspire a revolutionary robot

    December 19th, 2019

    An international team, including our lab, will analyse the African elephant’s trunk, and its exceptional agility and versatility, to create a robot guided by touch.

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