My work employs computer simulations to model biological self-assembly and evolutionary processes. Self-assembly is an amazing tool in Nature's workshop, bringing together materials on all scales, galaxies to molecules, to construct order from chaos and symmetry from randomness. Biological evolution is the mechanism by which Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have emerged from the simple chemistry of prehistoric Earth.
Two walks on landscapes:
symmetry evolves quickly;
structures build themselves.
- my research in Haiku.
I hold an M.Sci. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and my research is funded by the EPSRC. My fourth-year undergraduate project on virus capsid assembly was awarded the Tessella Prize for Innovative Use of Software. I am currently in the 4th Year of D.Phil. research in Theoretical Physics at Oxford University, supervised by Dr. A. Louis.
Pictured: Coarse-grained model assembly of T=1 and T=3 virus capsids, an evolved 'zoo' of icosominoes demonstrating modularity and symmetry, and a graph representation of the full dynamics of the core of a network evolved to produce a period-10 cyclic output.
Complexity and biological evolution:
Reversible self-assembly of virus capsids:
Deterministic assembly of polyomino structures:
Self-assembly, modularity, and physical complexity
Phys. Rev. E 82, 026117 (2010)
Sebastian E. Ahnert, Iain G. Johnston, Thomas M. A. Fink, Jonathan P. K. Doye, Ard A. Louis
The effect of scale-free topology on the robustness and evolvability of genetic regulatory networks
J. Theor. Biol. 267, 48 (2010)
Sam F. Greenbury, Iain G. Johnston, Matthew A. Smith, Jonathan P. K. Doye, Ard A. Louis
Modelling the Self-Assembly of Virus Capsids
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 22, 104101 (2010) [front cover]
Iain G. Johnston, Ard A. Louis, Jonathan P. K. Doye
The Self-Assembly of DNA Holliday Junctions Studied with a Minimal Model
J. Chem. Phys. 130, 065101 (2009)
Thomas E. Ouldridge, Iain G. Johnston, Ard A. Louis, Jonathan P. K. Doye
Evolutionary Dynamics in a Simple Model of Self-Assembly
Iain G. Johnston, Sebastian E. Ahnert, Ard A. Louis, Jonathan P. K. Doye
(poster: "Positive Design in Self-Assembly of Virus Capsids")
Oxford Mesoscale Modelling 2007
Physics By The Lake 2007
IOP Physics Meets Biology 2008
(poster: "Walking on Fitness Landscapes: Modelling Evolution, Complexity and Deterministic 2D Assembly")
IOP Complex Fluids Winter School 2009
CeCAM Workshop on Colloids 2009