Evolution is a central organizing principle of biology, which is why in order to understand any large-scale process and its influence on the living world, it is necessary to identify its evolutionary cause. Moreover, evolutionary dynamics – such nature-based, bio-inspired methods – have positive applications in solving a wide range of ecological, economic, societal and compounded technical problems, as these are all mutually dependent, complex systems with a range of actors and subject to change, just like the living world.
With the help of a mesocosm system designed for experimental examinations of aquatic life, which was constructed using project financing and is the only one of its kind in Eastern Europe, researchers at the Balaton Limnological Institute of the ELKH Centre for Ecological Research have examined the effect of climate change on aquatic life in Lake Balaton, with a particular focus on algae growth, which caused some severe problems at the end of last year’s holiday season. These investigations can help us to understand deeper explanations for connections between warm weather and a sudden increase in the number of algae.
As part of the project, the researchers examined the effect of climate change on the possible scenarios for the appearance of new diseases that entail a severe risk to the health of the general public, as well as evolutionary options for prevention, early warning and control.
Additionally, mathematical models and robot experiments were used to study possible scenarios for the development of human speech and the tendency for cooperation in prehistoric man, while the study also saw the introduction of evolutionary robotics as an experimental technique in Hungary.
Through their computer-based research, researchers have also come closer to understanding how complex chemical systems before the advent of terrestrial life could have reached the complexity that led to the creation of the very first living organisms.
You can find further information about the project at the following link.