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Who is developing Evolvix?

The core developer team works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently supported by the National Science Foundation.


Phase diagrams are important tools for analyzing the stability of a system. This one shows simple predator prey dynamics that result in a so-called limit cycle.Evolvix started with Laurence Loewe, who works as an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and in the Systems Biology Theme of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he built models addressing a broad range of biological questions in population genetics and molecular systems biology (list). He experienced first hand the power that good computational models can bring to biology as well as the frustrations caused by many unnecessary limitations imposed by specific implementation choices of various modeling environments. To more efficiently solve his own modeling problems in the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology, he decided to design a new model description language that would make it easy to focus on the biology of a problem by efficiently hiding technical implementation details of particular analysis mechanisms. To help produce more realistic models, this language would also have built-in support for estimating model parameters form comparisons of simulation output to real-world observations. Finally, this language would provide built-in support for distributed computing to efficiently distribute simulations across a broad range of compute resources, including the evolution@home global computing system, which is currently being re-designed for integration with Evolvix. 

The vision for Evolvix is to first help biologists build better models by providing excellent support for analyzing models of what molecules do in cells and what individuals do in ecosystems, while fully accounting for population genetics and other details of importance for understanding evolution. Modeling in other disciplines is supported where possible without loosing the focus on biology.

The team of developers that built the first prototype of EvolvixThe core development team also includes Seth Keel, Kurt Ehlert, Iratxo Flores-Lorca; Laurence Loewe is ultimately responsible for design decisions. To help make Evolvix readable, important syntax choices are reviewed by various undergraduates in the lab for readability.

Support for the development of Evolvix is currently provided by 

More:  Here are more details about why Evolvix exists, about the motivation that drives development of Evolvix, why modeling is important to understand our world and a break-down of the mission statement of Evolvix.