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Salva Duran-Nebreda

Hello! I am a Synthetic biologist and Complex Systems researcher interested in the Major Transitions in Evolution. In particular, I am fascinated by how individuality shifts as new levels of selection are created and how emergent properties appear in collective systems, from fitness to patterns and aging.


My research includes aspects of Development, Tissue Architecture, Pattern Formation, Evolutionary Biology and Artificial Life. In my research I have had the opportunity to use wetlab and drylab approaches, including mathematical analysis, agent-based modeling, engineering of emergence through synthetic biology and thorough charaterization of complex organs and tissues.

Previously, I studied how order emerges in tissue architecture in plants (including Arabidopsis thaliana) in the university of Birmingham. To do so, I imaged and anotated organs of different plant species, generating the corresponding cellular connectivity networks and applied network analysis to generate insight into the production and maintainance of order in these systems. With this approach I hope to be able to provide a solid foundation for tissue engineering, as well as characterize the evolution of complexity in our biosphere.

Before that, I worked in modeling the transition to multicellularity in different scenarios, synthetically producing spatial patterns similar to those observed during development, population dynamics of terraformation and the synthetic biology of collective behaviour.

Synthetic Pattern Formation in E.coli & modeling the emergence of multicellularity under exogenous stress.

Arabidopsis petal

Confocal imaging of Arabidopsis petal, segmented to produce the cell contact networks.

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