Santa Fe Institute


Research Themes

Interest Areas

  • Evolution of Genetic and Metabolic Networks
  • Gene and Genome Evolution
  • Mobile DNA and its Evolution
  • Population Genetics
  • Robustness and Evolutionary Innovation

Andreas Wagner

Science Board, External Professor

Professor, University of Zurich, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environ. Studies


Andreas Wagner is professor in the institute of evolutionary biology and environmental studies at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and External Professor at SFI. His main research interests are the evolution of biological systems, from genomes to complex molecular networks. Wagner is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and two scientific monographs, /Robustness and Evolvability/ /in Living Systems/ (Princeton University Press, 2005), and /The/ /Origins of Evolutionary Innovations/ (Oxford University Press, 2011), which puts forth a comprehensive theory of innovation in living systems. His popular science book /Paradoxical Life/ won the gold medal for best science book in the 2010 Association of Independent Publishers Book Awards. Wagner received his Ph.D in 1995 at Yale University, where his research won the J.S. Nicholas prize for best dissertation in his field. He has lectured widely worldwide, and held research fellowships at several institutions, such as the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Germany, and the Institut des Hautes Etudes in Bures-sur-Yvette, France. Wagner is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology, as well as of the editorial boards of several scientific journals that include Bioessays and BMC Evolutionary Biology. An Austrian born U.S. citizen, he lives with his wife and their son in Zurich, Switzerland.


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