Mauricio Gonzalez-Forero

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

I am a second year PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I work on mathematical evolutionary biology, and my advisor is Sergey Gavrilets.

I did my undergrad in Biology at the University of Antioquia at Medellin, Colombia, where I am originally from. As an undergrad I did a little bit more of what would amount to a minor in mathematics.

I tend to like better the pure mathematics approach rather than the applied math approach.

I used to play the drums and was part of a progressive-rock band back in Colombia. The band's name is Jaen Kief, and we released two albums. Being a Colombian, I also had to learn how to dance, and eventually found it very enjoyable.

What are your main interests? Feel free to include a "pie in the sky" big idea!

I am interested in mathematical evolutionary theory in a broad sense. As an undergrad I did research using formal math logic and set theory to address the definition of species and a paper came out of this.

I am currently working on an adaptive dynamics model of the evolution of germ-soma specialization. This is part of the main question I am addressing in my PhD, which is how groups become individuals. These "transitions in individuality" have produced many of the so-called major transitions in evolution such as transitions to multicellularity and transitions to eusociality to name a few.

I have a deep interest in foundational issues in evolutionary theory, such as the notion of fitness and the Price equation, and hope to be able to do some research on that at some point.

What sorts of expertise can you bring to the group?

I like to think of myself as a theoretical evolutionary biologist under construction, with an understanding of pure mathematics methods.

What do you hope to get out of the CSSS?

I hope to learn additional possibilities to address the question of how groups become individuals.

Do you have any possible projects in mind for the CSSS?

I am currently interested in modeling transitions in levels of organization. However, suggestions are always welcomed.

E-mail: maoforero86 at gmail dot com