Recent publications

Authors: M. Montévil; M. Bizzarri
Book Chapter, In Press
Authors: M. Montévil; M. Mossio; M. Silberstein
Book Chapter, 2017
Authors: M. Montévil; G. Longo; A. Soto; T. Gaudin; D. Lacroix; M.C. Maurel; J.C. Pomerol
Book Chapter, In Press
Authors: G. Longo; M. Montévil; T. Gaudin; D. Lacroix; M.C. Maurel; J.C. Pomerol
Book Chapter, In Press
Authors: M. Montévil; C. Sonnenschein; A.M. Soto
Journal Article, 2016

Maël Montévil's research page

Investigations in theoretical biology

Biological variability, historicity and mathematics

From criticality to variability

In the following paper, we started with the notion of criticality to understand the coherence of organisms, in spite of them being spatially distributed. The notion of criticality also goes with the notion of symmetry changes, that is to say, qualitative macroscopic changes. We explore the notion that organisms are characterized by cascades of critical transitions. This idea goes with a strong notion of variability and historicity which stem from these qualitative macroscopic changes. The issue is not just the issue of finding a mathematical model that would fit organisms, instead, our analysis shows that the very articulation between mathematics and biological phenomena is a problem.

Longo, G., & Montévil, M.. (2011). From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 106, 340 - 347. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2011.03.005

We provide an overview of these notions in a paper in french:

A specific form of randomness in biology

In a chapter, we discuss the different forms of randomness in physics and we compare it with the specific form of randomness that we think biology requires.

Longo, G., & Montévil, M.. (2017). Comparing Symmetries in Models and Simulations. In L. Magnani & Bertoloti, T. (Eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science (pp. 843-856). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30526-4

In another paper, we articulate this notion of variability and the associated randomness with a notion of biological complexity (anti-entropy).

Longo, G., & Montévil, M.. (2012). Randomness Increases Order in Biological Evolution. Computation, Physics and Beyond. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-27654-5_22


When a novelty appears in evolution, this novelty does not just act like a physical constraint for example. It also make other biological variations possible. We call this original "causal" relationship enablement.

Longo, G., Montévil, M., & Kauffman, S.. (2012). No entailing laws, but enablement in the evolution of the biosphere. Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference Companion on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation. presented at the 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: ACM, New York, NY, USA. doi:10.1145/2330784.2330946

Longo, G., & Montévil, M.. (2013). Extended criticality, phase spaces and enablement in biology. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, -. doi:10.1016/j.chaos.2013.03.008

Principle of variation

We sum up most of these discussions in a principle that we think is fundamental for biology. We expand on its consequences.

Montévil, M., Mossio, M., Pocheville, A., & Longo, G.. (2016). Theoretical principles for biology: Variation. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, -. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2016.08.005