Theoretical biology

Theoretical biology

Theoretical biology is a field of academic study and research that involves the use of models and theories in biology.

Many separate areas of biology fall under the concept of theoretical biology, according to the way they are studied. Some of these areas include: animal behaviour (ethology), biomechanics, biorhythms, cell biology, complexity of biological systems, ecology, enzyme kinetics, evolutionary biology, genetics, immunology, membrane transport, microbiology, molecular structures, morphogenesis, physiological mechanisms, systems biology and the origin of life. Neurobiology is an example of a subdiscipline of biology which already has a theoretical version of its own, theoretical or computational neuroscience.

The ultimate goal of the theoretical biologist is to explain the biological world using mainly mathematical and computational tools. Though it is ultimately based on observations and experimental results, the theoretical biologist's product is a model or theory, and it is this that chiefly distinguishes the theoretical biologist from other biologists.

Theoretical biologists

*Pere Alberch
*Ludwig von Bertalanffy
*Jack Cowan
*Francis Crick
*Claus Emmeche
*Marc Feldman
*Ronald A. Fisher
*Brian Goodwin
*Bryan Grenfell
*J. B. S. Haldane
*William D. Hamilton
*Lionel G. Harrison
*Michael Hassell
*Sven Erik Jørgensen
*Stuart Kauffman
*Kalevi Kull
*Richard Lewontin
*Humberto Maturana
*Robert May
*John Maynard Smith
*James D. Murray
*Howard Pattee
*George R. Price
*Erik Rauch
*Nicolas Rashevsky
*Johannes Reinke
*Robert Rosen
*Peter Schuster
*Rene Thom
*D'Arcy Thompson
*Jakob von Uexküll
*Robert Ulanowicz
*Francisco Varela
*C. H. Waddington
*Arthur Winfree
*Lewis Wolpert
*Sewall Wright
*Christopher Zeeman

ee also

*Journal of Theoretical Biology
*Mathematical biology
*Theoretical ecology
*Artificial life

Bibliographical references

* Bonner, J. T. 1988. "The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection". Princeton: Princeton University Press.
* Hertel, H. 1963. "Structure, Form, Movement". New York: Reinhold Publishing Corp.
* Mangel, M. 1990. "Special Issue, Classics of Theoretical Biology" (part 1). Bull. Math. Biol. 52(1/2): 1-318.
* Prusinkiewicz, P. & Lindenmeyer, A. 1990. "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants". Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
* Reinke, J. 1901. "Einleitung in die theoretische Biologie". Berlin: Verlag von Gebrüder Paetel.
* Thompson, D.W. 1942. "On Growth and Form". 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2. vols.
* Uexküll, J.v. 1920. "Theoretische Biologie". Berlin: Gebr. Paetel.
* Vogel, S. 1988. "Life's Devices: The Physical World of Animals and Plants". Princeton: Princeton University Press.
* Waddington, C.H. 1968-1972. "Towards a Theoretical Biology". 4 vols. Edinburg: Edinburg University Press.

External links

* [ Theory of Biological Anthropology (Documents No. 9 and 10 in English)]
* [ Drawing the Line Between Theoretical and Basic Biology (a forum article by Isidro T. Savillo)]

Related Journals

* [ Acta Biotheoretica]
* [ Bioinformatics]
* [ Biological Theory]
* [ BioSystems]
* [ Bulletin of Mathematical Biology]
* [ Ecological Modelling]
* [ Journal of Mathematical Biology]
* [ Journal of Theoretical Biology]
* [ Journal of the Royal Society Interface]
* [ Mathematical Biosciences]
* [ Medical Hypotheses]
* [ Rivista di Biologia-Biology Forum]
* [ Theoretical and Applied Genetics]
* [ Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling]
* [ Theoretical Population Biology]
* [ Theory in Biosciences] (formerly: Biologisches Zentralblatt)

Related societies

* [ American Mathematical Society]
* [ British Society of Developmental Biology]
* [ European Mathematical Society]
* [ ESMTB: European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology]
* [ The International Biometric Society]
* [ International Society for Ecological Modelling]
* [ The Israeli Society for Theoretical and Mathematical Biology]
* [ London Mathematical Society]
* [ Société Francophone de Biologie Théorique]
* [ Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics]
* [ Society for Mathematical Biology]
* [ International Society for Biosemiotic Studies]

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