Interdisciplinary team of scientists united by a passion for evolution.

Institute of
Integrative Biology

About us

We study evolution. We’re particularly interested in the relationship between genotype and phenotype, and the role of mutation in the generation of adaptive phenotypic variation.

Current projects in the group address these topics in the context of gene regulation and translation using modeling, public data, and experiments.

We are hosted by the Institute of Integrative Biology in D-USYS at ETH Zurich, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. We are also affiliated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

Our people

Joshua L. Payne,
Group leader.

My name is Josh Payne. I’m from Western New York. My formal education is in Mathematics and Computer Science. I started studying evolution during my Ph.D., first in the context of genetic algorithms, complex networks, and models of cellular circuitry. My current research interests include the evolution of regulatory complexity, genotype-phenotype maps, mutation bias, and the genetic code.

Magdalena San Roman,

My name is Magdalena San Roman. I was born and raised in the countryside of Uruguay. After doing my Bachelor and Master in Biochemistry and Biophysics back home, I moved to Switzerland to do a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology. During my PhD I studied microbial metabolism to answer questions in the field of microbial evolution and ecology. Then, I joined the groups of Sebastian Bonhoeffer and Joshua Payne in ETH. I am still interested in questions regarding metabolism and microbial ecology. In addition, I am excited about exploring regulation. Specifically, I am interested in the biophysics and evolution of regulatory elements.

Alexander Klug,

My name is Alexander Klug. I’m a German physicist who did his formal education at the University of Cologne with a focus on statistical and biological physics. During my PhD, my research projects have revolved around modeling evolution under the consideration of fitness landscapes. Generally speaking, I’m interested in the emergent properties of complex systems.

Alejandro Cano,
Ph.D. student.

I’m Alejandro V. Cano, born and raised in Venezuela. I did my formal education in Physics, mainly focused on chaos and complex systems. Currently I use both computational approaches and empirical data to study the influence of mutation bias on various aspects of evolution.

Paco Majic,
Ph.D. student.

I am Paco Majic. I am a Uruguayan biologist with broad interests in the interplay between evolution, molecular biology, developmental biology, and natural history. My research orbits around the theme of molecular innovation and evolvability, using mainly bioinformatic and modeling approaches.

Malvika Srivastava,
Ph.D. student.

My name is Malvika Srivastava. I grew up in different towns and cities of north India, spanning its entire breadth, from the west to the east. I completed my masters in physics from the University of Cologne. I have always been fascinated by the flux and creative synthesis of ideas from different fields. For my master’s research, I worked on a geometric theory of fitness landscapes. Currently, I am looking at genotype-phenotype maps and their deformability under different conditions.

Hana Rozhoňová,
Ph.D. student.

My name is Hana Rozhoňová and I come from the Czech Republic. I have never managed to choose between biology and computer science, so I ended up studying Bioinformatics. I like to answer questions about the nature of evolutionary processes using mathematical models; currently I am most interested in the role of mutational bias in evolution and the genetic code.


Daniela Schildknecht (Master’s student ETH), Fahad Khalid (Research Scientist, University of Zurich) Stephany Orjuela (Master’s student, University of Zurich), Dov Pechenick (Ph.D. student, Dartmouth)