IE Department of Evolutionary Dynamics
szathmary.eors [at]
+36 1 279 3100 / 131
Brief description of the main scopes: 

Professor Biological Institute, Eötvös University, Budapest

Director, Center for the Conceptual Foundations of Science, Parmenides Foundation, Pullach, Germany

    Scientific achievements

      • the stochastic corrector model as group selection of early replicators,
      • scenario for the origin of the genetic code,
      • analysis of genetic epistasis in terms of metabolic control theory,
      • a demonstration of the selection consequences of parabolic growth,
      • a derivation of the optimal size of the genetic alphabet;
      • general replicator theory,
      • a general framework to discuss the major transitions in evolution,
      • questions of weak, strong and ultimate open-ended evolvability.
      • the mitochondrial farming hypothesis,
      • hypothesis for extant life on Mars in Dark Dune Spots,
      • learning in evolution, evolution in learning
      • the possible role of replication with variation in higher brain function.


      1995 Outstanding teacher of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Eötvös University, Budapest
      1996 New Europe Prize for Higher Education and Research, Stanford
      1999 Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest
      2001 Member of Academia Europaea
      2004 College de France guest
      2007 Corresponding Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
      2011 Guest professor, Faculty of Biology, Ludwig Maximilans University, Munich
      2013 Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
      2017 Széchenyi Prize


      ERC Advanced Grant, member
      ERC Synergy Grant, Vice President

    Major grants

      e-Flux (Evolutionary Microfluidix): FET Open international consortium, Coordinator, 42 months, 2.3 M€, (start: 1 February, 2009)
      INSIGHT (Darwinian neurodynamics): FET Open international consortium, Coordinator, 42 months, 2.15 M€, (start: 1 March, 2014)
      EvoEvo (Evolution of Evolvable Systems): ERC Advanced Grant, 60 months, 2.6 M€ (start: 1 July 2012)
      In the light of evolution: GINOP Excellence project, National Research, Development and Innovation Office, 48 monts, 2.5 M€. (start: 1 March 2017)
      A general model of recombination in life. WW Life?, own share: 0.5 M M€ (start: March, 2017)
      Learning and Evolution. Frontline project,, National Research, Development and Innovation Office, PI, 60 months, 1 M€, (start: March, 2019).

    Documents available for the public

Main profile in keywords: 
theoretical biology, evolution, major transitions, replicator, evolvability, astrobiology