I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Ikegami lab at the University of Tokyo. I have a DPhil in artificial life from the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at the University of Sussex, UK.
My work explores the effect of physical constraints, such as the second law of thermodynamics and a limited energy supply, on complex physical systems such as organisms and ecosystems.
In particular I'm interested in how lifelike properties can arise in non-living systems, and what this can tell us about biology.
This leads me to ask questions such as
- How do individual entities arise in certain physical systems? What do these phenomena have in common with biological organisms?
- How can lifelike structures and lifelike behaviour such as learning occur in purely physical systems? What does this purely physical organisation tell us about biological development?
- What can energetic considerations tell us about the structure of
ecosystems and the evolution of complexity?
- What does this tell us about the origins of life and the evolution of the Earth system?
Structurally complex entities in a reaction-diffusion system (modified Gray-Scott). Each consists of red and blue spots coexisting symbioticaly, mediated by an exchange of nutrients (green)
Self-replicating "molecules" on an air-hockey table. The system is seeded with a "dimer" (two monomers joined together), and this is able to catalyse the formation of another dimer with the same sequence. Both copies then go on to duplicate themselves once more. (see Virgo et al., 2012)