[Comp-neuro] International PhD project at the Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) and University of Hertfordshire (UK)

Volker Steuber v.steuber at herts.ac.uk
Fri Oct 22 13:32:42 CEST 2010

International PhD project at the Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) and 
University of Hertfordshire (UK):

Integrating evolution, morphogenesis and behaviour: a road towards 
embodied intelligence

We are recruiting candidates for a PhD project that will be a part of a 
larger team effort in several collaborating labs in Europe. This effort 
aims at building a software platform that brings together evolution, 
morphogenesis and behaviour, a platform that is based on the principle 
of genome-physics interaction in shaping the morphogenesis and on the 
paradigm of indirect genotype-phenotype relationship (evolvable and 
efficient encoding of the features of an organism). Such a platform will 
allow to model the coevolution of the shape of the multicellular 
organism ("the body") and the way its behaviour is controlled ("the 
mind"). We believe that truly embodied intelligence can only be possible 
when mind-body co-evolution is allowed.

A suitable candidate would be interested in biology, but no previous 
formal background in life sciences is required. It is essential that he 
or she would have good knowledge of object-oriented programming (C++ 
and/or Java). For the timely development of the project, it will be 
necessary to modify existing models of evolving gene regulatory networks 
(controlling behaviour of single cells), models of cell division and 
differentiation, including differentiation into sensors, actuators and 
neurons, and/or models of controlling the movement of complex bodies in 
the environment. One or several issues will be tackled by the candidate, 
depending on his or her interest, background and abilities, in close 
collaboration with other members of an international team of 
researchers. As the project will involve collaborative software 
development, the willingness to work in such an environment and a good 
command of English will be an important factor.

More information: http://mpd.amu.edu.pl/projects/10.htm

The duration of the graduate fellowship will be up to 4 years (2 will be 
spent in the UK and 2 in Poland). The deadline for complete applications 
is November 22, 2010.

  For informal inquiries please contact:

Dr Maria Schilstra (http://strc.herts.ac.uk/bio/maria/),

Dr Volker Steuber (http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~comqvs/ 
<http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/%7Ecomqvs/>) or

Dr Borys Wróbel (www.evosys.org <http://www.evosys.org>).

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