This course is for bachelors and master students, as well as PhD
students. Please consult to Prof.
Anybody who has successfully completed the Theoretical Ecology
course can participate. The 3rd year
bachelors students who have completed the Systems Biology course
can also participate. Others please consult Prof.
dr. P. Hogeweg
Computational Biology uses computer modeling to investigate
biological problems. The course teaches a variety of modeling
techniques and techniques to analyse the model behaviour. Moreover
biological theory obtained by computational modeling is examined.
During the course, the emphasis will be on composing exact models,
based on specific hypotheses. The models are analyzed, the results
yielding insights in the original biological system. The models that
are studied address fundamental questions from a variety of biological
fields, among which:
eco-evolutionary dynamics and spatial pattern
genome evolution, e.g. interaction between gene regulation
evolution of complexity, robustness and evolvability
Developmental dynamics (from genes to organisms) (plant and animal models will be used)
morphogenesis and mechanical interactions between cells
EVO-DEVO (evolution of development).
gene regulation and metabolic networks
behavioral self-structuring through local interactions
interface between learning and evolution
(Spatial) pattern formation and emergent properties are
common themes emphasised in all these areas
and the related general theory is introduced as a separate module.
A number of different model formalisms are used, namely:
Non-linear differential/difference equations (ODE
Reaction Diffusion Systems (PDE)
Cellular automata machines
Event based models
Individually oriented models
Hybrid models using several combinatiions of the above formalisms
Analysis tools include
bifurcation analysis, sensitivity analysis, and various pattern
The course is given on tuesdays and thursday. A typical day
starts with lectures from 10:00 to 13:00, followed by computational
until about 17:00. Literature will be handed out related to the
computer excercises , and at the end of the course, litterature
seminars are given by the students.
The student's final mark is primarily based on the exam;
a miniproject and litterature seminar for rounding the grade