KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Roland Zimm
KLI Colloquia
On the Origins of Complexity, Stability and Variation: A General Model of Development
Roland ZIMM
2018-02-15 15:00 - 2018-02-15 16:30
Organized by KLIl

Topic description / abstract:

Organisms are characterized by the astonishing diversity and complexity of their forms. Yet, development has to ensure that these forms are robustly reproduced between generations, while allowing for some variation. In this talk, I will present how a computational model combining gene regulatory dynamics, cell-cell signalling, biomechanics and cell behaviours may help identify developmental and variational commonalities between complex and stable morphologies. We show that cell-cell signalling contributes to stabilizing morphologies rather than increasing their complexity, which has implications for the evolution of early multicellular life. We also show that increasing complexity has consequences for the genotype-phenotype map and, thus, for the appearance of novelties and further morphological evolution. Finally, I will present a specific model of turtle shell development which suggests that environmental, i.e. non-genetic, factors may play an underestimated role in generating morphological variation.


Biographical note:

Roland Zimm studies evo-devo questions using mathematical models. In particular, he is interested in relating development with patterns of phenotypic variation. He completed his Biology studies at the Technical University of Dresden with a theoretical model of cell type transdifferentiation to join Isaac Salazar-Ciudad’s group at Helsinki University. Currently, he is finishing his PhD at the KLI.