Evolution of Networks belongs to the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE). This group is led by CSIC Tenured Scientist Sergi Valverde, and studies natural and artificial networks in the search of universal evolutionary principles. We are interested in the role played by emergence, convergence and environmental fluctuations in the origin of evolutionary innovations, and how the pattern and process of evolution differs when traits are learned rather than transmitted genetically. Cultural evolution depend on social learning, which provides a non-genetic pathway for the transmission of adaptive traits. The group brings expertise in complex systems, complex networks, and theoretical ecology.
We study different approaches to extend evolutionary theory beyond the domain of biology. This effort depends on empirical analysis and theoretical modelling. An unique approach of our lab is the complex networks perspective of the evolution of culture, which we have developed over the years (see our review paper here). We also develop systematic ways to recollect and analyse the rich fossil record of inventions.
Sergi Valverde (Principal Investigator)
I am a Complex Systems researcher with a background in Computer Science and Physics. I am very interested in Evolutionary Theory and their applications beyond Biology (and related fields like Cultural Evolution). One of my scientific obsessions is the coevolution between Hardware and Software, which I think is a paradigmatic example for the Evolution of Complexity, both in natural and artificial systems. My research is mainly based on the theory of Complex Networks, Theoretical Ecology, Evolutionary Algorithms and Computational Biology.
Salva Duran-Nebreda (Postdoctoral Researcher)
I am a Biotechnologist and Complex Systems researcher interested in the Major Transitions in Evolution. In particular, I am fascinated by how individuality shifts as new levels of selection are created and how emergent properties appear in collective systems, from multicellular entities to ecosystems and societies. My research includes aspects of Synthetic Biology, EvoDevo, Pattern Formation, Complex Networks in Ecology and Cultural Evolution.
Blai Vidiella (Researcher)
Keywords: Complex Systems, Complex Networks, Theoretical Ecology.