About Chris Adami

I was trained in theoretical physics, but found I can make fundamental contributions by researching and understanding how things can evolve from simple to complex. I’m the kind of guy that can’t keep his fingers off of a shiny new problem, or a shiny old problem. I can leave the dull problems alone.
— Chris Adami

Chris Adami, Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Physics and Astronomy

Chris Adami, Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Physics and Astronomy

High mutability of HIV results in a quasispecies-like virus population in the host.

High mutability of HIV results in a quasispecies-like virus population in the host.

Chris is a computational biologist with a focus on theoretical, experimental and computational Darwinian evolution, studying how biological systems evolve from the simplest molecules to the most complex structures such as the human brain.

A professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics as well as Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University, he uses mathematics and computation to understand how simple rules can give rise to the most complex systems and behaviors.

 Chris has pioneered the application of methods from information theory to the study of evolution, and spearheaded the development of Avida, an Artificial Life simulator that uses mutating and adapting computer viruses as a tool for investigating evolutionary biology.

The author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles in biology and physics, Chris also wrote the textbook “Introduction to Artificial Life” (Springer, 1998). He was a principal scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, where he conducted research into the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information theory.

Chris is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, and he was also elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Chris earned a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics and a Diplom in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from the University of Bonn in Germany. His M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Theoretical Physics are from Stony Brook University in New York.