[Pending] [Illinois] Evolution of Biological Complexity
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It is a general rule of nature that larger organisms are more complex, at least as measured by the number of distinct types of cells present. This reflects the fitness advantage conferred by a division of labor among specialized cells. Yet, increasing size has both costs and benefits, and the search for understanding the driving forces behind the evolution of multicellularity has become a very active area of research. This talk will present an overview of recent experimental and theoretical work aimed at understanding this biological problem from the perspective of physics. A number of challenging problems in fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, and control theory emerge when one probes the workings of the simplest multicellular organisms.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ray Goldstein received undergraduate degrees in physics and chemistry from MIT, and a PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell University. Following postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago and faculty positions in physics and applied mathematics at Princeton University and the University of Arizona, he moved to Cambridge as the Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems in 2006. His research interests span from statistical physics to nonlinear dynamics and geophysics, with particular emphasis on biological physics, both theoretical and experimental. His work has been recognized by the Stephanos Pnevmatikos Award in Nonlinear Science, Fellowship in the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Raymond Goldstein (2013), "[Illinois] Evolution of Biological Complexity," https://nanohub.org/resources/18315.
NCSA Auditorium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagin, Urbana, IL