I am the Senior Software Engineer and Digital Evolution Research Specialist in the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action and the Digital Evolution Laboratory at Michigan State University. I lead the development of Avida, a principal open-source research software platform, feature in more than 400 science and engineering publications, and downloaded 55,000+ times. My research focuses on understanding how the mechanisms and properties of adaptive systems impact evolutionary potential in complex environments, and harnessing those systems to solve difficult engineering challenges.

Current Projects:

Avida 3.0
Reimagining Avida’s approach to digital evolution in a modular, extensible API enabling more powerful and complex computational environments and experimental designs.
Evolution of Robust Intelligence: Bio-informed Robot Controllers
Leveraging biological and ecological knowledge to engineer appropriately complex computational environments capable of evolving robust, intelligent solutions that can be readily translated into robot controllers.
Evolutionary Potential in Virtual CPU Instruction Set Architectures
Investigating the fundamental design decisions of von Neumann architectures as instantiated in evolving systems with complex, varied environments.
Historical Contingency
Exploring the relative roles of history, chance, and adaptation. Performing Gould’s “Replay the Tape of Life” thought experiment on a grand scale.

Last updated: 2013-11-10

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