Gerd Müller (theoretical biologist)

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Gerd B. Müller (born April 17, 1953 in Salzburg, Austria) is professor at the University of Vienna, where he heads the Department of Theoretical Biology and is speaker of the Center for Organismal Systems Biology. His research interests focus on evolutionary innovation, evo-devo theory, and the extended evolutionary synthesis. He is also concerned with the development of micro-CT based quantitative tools in developmental biology.


Müller received an M.D. in 1979 and a Ph.D. in zoology in 1985, both from the University of Vienna. He has been a sabbatical fellow at the Department of Developmental Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada (1988) and a visiting scholar at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (1988–89). He is a founding member of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria, of which he has been chairman since 1998. Müller is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including Biological Theory where he serves as an Associate Editor. He is also editor (together with Günter Wagner and previously, the late Werner Callebaut) of the Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology, a book series devoted to theoretical developments in the biosciences, published by MIT Press.

With the cell and developmental biologist Stuart Newman, Müller co-edited the book Origination of Organismal Form (MIT Press, 2003). This book on evolutionary developmental biology is a collection of papers on generative mechanisms that were plausibly involved in the origination of disparate body forms during the Ediacaran and early Cambrian periods. Particular attention is given to epigenetic factors, such as physical determinants and environmental parameters, that may have led to the spontaneous emergence of bodyplans and organ forms during a period when multicellular organisms had relatively plastic morphologies. Natural selection acting on variant genotypes is suggested to have then "locked in" these body plans.

Edited books[edit]

Selected articles[edit]

  • Metscher B. and G.B. Müller 2011. MicroCT for molecular imaging: Quantitative Visualization of Complete Three-Dimensional Distributions of Gene Products in Embryonic Limbs. Developmental Dynamics 240: 2301-2308.
  • Müller G.B. 2007. EvoDevo: Extending the evolutionary synthesis. Nat. Rev. Genet. 8(12): 943-950.
  • Müller G.B. and S.A. Newman. 2005. The innovation triad: An EvoDevo agenda. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 304: 487-503.
  • Newman S.A. and G.B. Müller. 2005. Origination and innovation in the vertebrate limb skeleton: An epigenetic perspective. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 304: 593-609.
  • Müller G.B. 2003. Homology: The evolution of morphological organization. In: Origination of Organismal Form (Müller G.B. and S.A. Newman eds.), pp 51–69. MIT Press, Cambridge.
  • Newman S.A. and G.B. Müller. 2000. Epigenetic mechanisms of character origination. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 288: 304-317.
  • Streicher J., M.A. Donat, B. Strauss, R. Spörle, K. Schughart, and G.B. Müller. 2000. Computer-based three-dimensional representation of developmental gene expression. Nature Genetics 25 (2): 147-152.

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