Avida: Darwinian evolution on a computer

Much of the work in the Devolab is centered on research with and the continued development of the Avida digital evolution research platform. In Avida, a population of self-replicating computer programs is subjected to external pressures (such as mutations and limited resources) and allowed to evolve subject to natural selection. This is not a mere simulation of evolution — digital organisms in Avida evolve to survive in a complex computational environment and will adapt to perform entirely new traits in ways never expected by the researchers, some of which seem highly creative. Data about each individual is saved to track the fate of the population and analyzed to help answer our many research questions. [MORE]


Avida-ED: Darwinian evolution in the classroom

Avida-ED is an educational version of Avida with a graphical user interface and intuitive visual representations of the evolving populations as well as the internal workings of individual digital organisms. Students are able to set environmental parameters, observe replication, mutation and natural selection, and analyze data, allowing them to test evolutionary hypotheses in their biology laboratory courses. [MORE]