Seminar: Complex Systems in Biology

This page contains all the information related to the seminar Complex Systems in Biology which is part of the module. All research articles that will be discussed and presented in the seminar will be provided here as well as a time table for the student presentations.

Presentation Schedule (tentative)


- Tom Altenburg: Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks. Slides (pdf)
- Benjamin Beuster: Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks. Slides (pdf), Openworm (website)


- Cornelius Müller: The human disease network, Slides (pdf)
- Anne Pelikan: Network biology: understanding the cell's functional organization

12.6.15: (long session 8:00-10:00)

. Aleksandar Emanuel Figura: On the structural stability of mutualistic systems, Slides (pdf)
- Pascal Kroh: Five rules for the evolution of cooperation, Slides (pdf) Cooperation Model (netlogo)
- Adrian Zachariae: The structure of mutations and the evolution of cooperation, Slides (pdf), PublicGoods (netlogo), PublicGoods Bitwise (netlogo)

19.6.15: (short session: 8:30 - 9:15)

- Wiebke Schmidt: Complex patterns in a simple system, Slides (pdf)


- Lars Zerbe: Self-organized critical forest-fire model, Slides (pdf), Forrest Fire (netlogo)
- Frederike Oertel: Population biology of infectious diseases


- Clara Jongen: Epidemic dynamics on an adaptive network Slides (pdf) Adaptive Networks (netlogo)
- Alice Wittig: The hidden geometry of complex, network-driven contagion phenomena, Slides (pdf)
- Avan Kader: Mobility promotes and jeopardizes biodiversity in rock-paper-scissors games.

10.7.15: (long session 8:30-10:30)

- Jorin Diemer: Novel Type of Phase Transition in a System of Self-Driven Particles
- Maria Dost: Uninformed individuals promote democratic consensus in animal groups Slides (pdf)
- David Bierbrauer: Levy Flight Search Patterns of Wandering Albatrosses. Slides (pdf)


- Nikolas Brunner: Social Bacteria, Slides (pdf)
- Stephan Adler: Revealing the hidden networks of interaction in mobile animal groups allows prediction of complex behavioral contagion.

When giving a presentation

  • Turn off any software that may interrupt your presentation
  • Do not stand behing a lectern
  • Stand up
  • Face the audience
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Do not stare at the screen of your laptop while speaking
  • Move around, but not too much
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Vary the pitch of your voice
  • Do not say “uhh”
  • Use gender neutral speech
  • Do not apologize
  • On your slides, minimize words, maximize pictures
  • Do not use slides as a reminder what to say
  • Explain complex ideas using the Particular-General-Particular principle
  • Use non-serif fonts on your slides
  • Use font-sizes that are visible to everyone in the room
  • Make sure people who are color-blind can follow your slides
  • Label your axis
  • Explain the variables in your formulae
  • If you use a laser pointer, hold it steady
  • Finish within your time limit
  • Never draw attention to timing problems
  • End by saying “Thank you”
  • Leave the audience with a slide they can think about.

Article Pool

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