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Rebecca Cotton-Barratt

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.


Modelling constraint in evolution
Supervisor: Dr. Markus Kirkilionis
How contingent is evolution? If life evolved on another planet, how similar would it be to the organic forms seen on our own planet? These are important questions in the research area of theoretical palaeontology, and I hope to shed some light on their answers. To do this, I am combining different mathematical models (genetic algorithms and adaptive dynamics) to evolve hierarchical structures and assess the stability of such forms.

About me

At present, I am a lapsed geologist trying to navigate the complex (you expected that pun somewhere, right?) landscape of complexity science.


2009-Present MSc+PhD in Complexity Science, University of Warwick.

2005-2009 Master of Earth Sciences (Upper Second), University of Oxford.


My long-term goal is to provide the study of biological evolution on long time scales (palaeontology) with the mathematical rigour it desperately needs.