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Marine Biology

Neuroscience without neurons: Bodies without brains and other musings in science

We use interdisciplinary approaches including theory and experiments to understand how computation is embodied in biological matter. Examples include cognition in single cell protists and morphological computing in animals with no neurons and origins of complex behavior in multi-cellular systems. We will also share new tools to enable “virtual reality arena” for single cells - enabling never before seen behavior of single cells over multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Evolutionary Mosaics & The Interplay Between Innovation and Integration

Evolutionary innovations are scattered throughout the tree of life, and have allowed the organisms that possess them to occupy novel adaptative zones. While the impacts of these innovations are well-documented, much less is known about how these innovations arise in the first place. Patterns of covariation among traits across macroevolutionary timescales can offer insights into the generation of innovation. However, to-date, there is no consensus on the role that trait covariation (i.e. integration and modularity) plays in this process.

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