Evolution is the major source of complexity on Earth, at the origin of all the species we can observe, interact with or breed. On a smaller scale, evolution is at the heart of the adaptation process for many species, in particular micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses…). Microbial evolution results in the emergence of the species itself, and it also contributes to the organisms’ adaptation to perturbations or environmental changes. These organisms are not only organised by evolution, they are also organised to evolve. The evoevo project will study this process of “evolution of evolution” and use this knowledge to develop new evolutionary approaches in information science. Our ultimate goal is to address open-ended problems, where the specifications are either unknown or too complicated to express, and to produce software able to operate in unpredictable, varying conditions.

EvoEvo is an Information and Communication Technologies initiative funded by the European Commission under FP7.

  • INRIA Rhône-Alpes, France, (Guillaume Beslon, project leader)
  • Université Joseph Fourier, France (Dominique Schneider)
  • Utrecht University, Nederland (Paulien Hogeweg)
  • York University, UK (Susan Stepney)
  • CSIC, Spain (Santiago Elena)


Dopamine modulation of calcium influx underlying synaptic plasticity

Synaptic plasticity is the main mechanism allowing storage of memories and underlies adaptive changes in behavior. As in the hippocampus, both LTP and LTD of the Medium Spiny Neurons (MSN), the projection neurons of the striatum, require elevation of intracellular calcium, but the role of calcium is more elusive in the MSN mostly due to the critical role of dopamine in plasticity. Understanding how the interactions between calcium dynamics and dopamine (via PKA) control synaptic plasticity requires a novel, data-driven modeling approach to study calcium dynamics. A tightly knit collaboration between electrophysiology, calcium imaging, calcium dynamics modeling can for the first time provide a unified understanding of mechanism underlying plasticity. The overall goal of this project is to predict the development of synaptic plasticity direction and magnitude from the stimulation parameters that control neuronal calcium dynamics.

Dopaciumcity is funded by a grant from the ANR-NSF-NIH Call for French-US Projects in Computational Neuroscience.
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA (Kim L. Blackwell, US project leader)
  • Collège de France, Paris, France (Laurent Venance, French project leader)
  • INRIA Rhône-Alpes, France, (H. Berry)


Biology is an historical science. The living kingdom, as we know it, results from an evolutionary process that started more than 3 billion years ago. This history is key to our understanding of the organisms and their interactions with their environment. However, there exist more than one history in biology, that are often decoupled, depending on whether one is interested in species ecology, their phylogeny, that of their genomes ou that of the genes itself. Ancestrome aims at integrating several of these observation scales in a unique model.