MeMoDEvo symposium.

Mechanics, morphogenesis, development & evolution

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Mechanics, morphogenesis, development and evolution symposium 2022

The Qbio initiative at Institut Pasteur is organising a two-day symposium in Paris on December 12th and 13th 2022 which will cover the interplay between mechanics, evolution, morphogenesis and development. This symposium is meant to be an open platform for discussion between physicists, mathematicians and biologists on relevant biological questions, and to foster interactions between topics/systems which normally have few occasions to interact.

The meeting will be in a fully hybrid format, with an in-person audience and speakers, as well as a virtual audience and virtual talks.

Despite the format, we will maintain the possibility for interactions during breaks with the possibility to discuss with virtual or on site attendees – we’ll see whether this works !


Dates: December 12 & 13

The MeMoDEvo symposium will take place on December 12 & 13 at Institut Pasteur Paris. It will be held over 2 days to accommodate for different time zones: the invited talks will happen during the two European afternoons and US mornings, and the Paris mornings will give space to spontaneous discussion and unconferences around coffee & croissants and a gigantic white board.

Preliminary Schedule

December 12.

9:30 – 12:30 AM UTC+1h
Unconference session

Open discussions around coffee, croissants & white boards.

12:30 – 13:30 UTC+1h

Pizza lunch

Session 1
Start at 1:30 PM UTC+1h


General Introduction

Mechanical stress as a selective pressure for embryo evolution

Bruno C. Vellutini

Petal morphology and its evolution: a matter of layers

Marie Monniaux

Mechanics of blastocyst morphogenesis

Jean-Léon Maître

3.10 – 3:40 UTC+1h

Coffee break

Session 2
Start at 3:40 PM UTC+1h circa


Arghyadip Mukherjee

Inflating to shape

José Bico

Morphogenetic innovations in early fly development

Steffen Lemke

Morphogenesis of Gastrovascular Canal Network in Aurelia Jellyfish, an example on evolution and mechanics of looping network morphogenesis

Annemiek Cornelissen

Happy hour with free discussions
Start at 5:40 PM UTC+1h circa

Open discussion

We will do our best to include the local and remote community.

December 13.

9:30 – 12:30 AM UTC+1h
Unconference session

Open discussions around coffee, croissants & white boards.

12:30 – 13:30 UTC+1h

Pizza lunch

Session 1
Start at 1:30 PM UTC+1h

In your face: exploring morphology, evolution and development of the skull

Arkhat Abzhanov

Some evolutionary tales of biological shape: eggs, bodies and beaks

L Mahadevan

Shape and propulsion among green algae

Helène de Maleprade

3 – 3:30 PM UTC+1h


Session 2
Start at 3:30 PM UTC+1h circa

Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles

Ana Soto & Maël Montévil

Plant root growth against a mechanical obstacle: the early growth response of a maize root facing an axial resistance is consistent with the Lockhart model

Etienne Couturier

How physics scaffolds the origin of multicellularity: the non-adaptive origins of life cycles, development, and collective-level heritability

Will Ratcliff & Peter Yunker

Inherencies of multicellular matter in the evolution of animal form

Stuart Newman



Happy hour with free discussions
Start at 5:30 PM UTC+1h circa

Open discussion

We will do our best to include the local and remote community.

How to get the best symposium experience

LogIn please  🗝
Go to the main page and log in with GitHub. This will add you into the network graph of mechanics, morphogenesis and devo evo enthusiasts 💛 and allow you to discover your like-minded neighbours.
If you do not have a GitHub account yet, you can easily create one at, providing your email address, user name and real name (full name is not obligatory but we recommend it.)

The online video room  🎥
will most likely be using Microsoft Teams. It will be monitored throughout the talk sessions so that online participants can post questions in the chat or raise their hand and join the discussion on camera. Our conference room has a great setup for hybrid conferencing, and we will be using several services to maintain great audio quality during the Q&A and discussion sessions.


Please register for the event by November 14 using this Google form, indicating if you will participate in person or online, and if you would like to join our morning sessions or only the afternoons. Morning sessions are informal discussions around coffee and a big white board (in person), and afternoon sessions will feature a series of talks (in person or online).
In person participation of morning sessions will be limited to around 30 people; and in person participation for the afternoon sessions will be limited to 100 people.

We will keep waiting lists – so please in case your plans change, edit your response in the Google form in case you can't attend anymore (in person). Thanks.

Please also add yourself to the MeMoDEvo graph to join our community as a part of the larger BrainWeb community. Once you logged in, your name should be an isolated dot flying around. Find it, click on it, and add your skills. That will start to create links with others, and you'll become part of the cluster of people sharing similar skills. Please keep the "memodevo" term in your skills panel to be part of the MeMoDEvo graph. You can learn more about others by clicking on their dots.

Team of organizers

Romain Levayer (Cell death and epithelial homeostasis lab, Institut Pasteur Paris)

Thibaut Brunet (Evolutionary cell biology and evolution of morphogenesis lab, Institut Pasteur Paris)

Roberto Toro (Applied and Theoretical Neuroanatomy lab, Institut Pasteur Paris)

Katja Heuer (postdoc in the Applied and Theoretical Neuroanatomy lab)

We kindly thank the sponsors of our event

Made with love   ❤   Please respect the MeMoDEvo Code of Conduct.