Research Interests: Before there was life on earth, molecules already displayed behaviour that resembles life, such as reproduction and evolution. My research focuses on complexity, in prebiotic evolution (origin of life) and in man-made synthetic, biological and chemical systems. I’m mainly working on building and refining computer models that mimic chemical systems. I’m fortunate to collaborate with Sijbren Otto’s research group here in Groningen, so I can use real data from their experiments in my work. Those researchers have created a system of chemical replicators that spontaneously form larger rings. The rings then accumulate into something like small fibres that, in turn, exhibit interesting behaviour. That system is the starting point for my models. I then combine it with insights from evolutionary biology to discover the circumstances that are necessary to initiate chemical evolution.
Involvement in the Origins Research Theme
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