Szathmáry, Eörs, Member of the HAS

Research Professor

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

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
Scientific publications
Book title pages