Volvocine algae relationship status: “It’s complicated”

Biosystems Analytics are green algae that can form large and amazingly beautiful colonies of up to 50,000 cells, and have been widely studied as a model for the evolution of multicellularity, but they also have a huge diversity of mating systems.   Matthew Herron has a great post over on his blog, Fierce Roller (which focuses on the the biology of volvocine algae and evolutionary mathematical models amongst other things), about the unusual and complicated world of Volvox sex, direct from the the Volvox 2015 conference.   For those of us who work mostly on model organisms, it’s good to be reminded that these organisms are just the tip of the proverbial evolutionary iceberg, and that there are many great practical and conceptual discoveries awaiting all over the tree of life.

Volvox, and the volvocine algae in general, are well known as a model system for the evolution of multicellularity and cellular…

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John Holland, Echo and agent-based models in biology

I have a new post on the Biosystems Analytics blog:

The sad passing of evolutionary computation and genetic algorithm pioneer John H. Holland earlier this week prompted me to think more about how his approach to complex adaptive systems research fits into the biological and biomedical landscape of research of today.

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