study Nature by means of Science. I focus my research on conflicts that
develop into complex dramas. Life on Earth is full of drama.
There is a conflict between the maternal body and the foetus developing in it.
Mother provides certain quantity of food, however, the foetus demands more.
And it appears to use drugs (beta-endorphins) as a weapon of force against its
mother. This can explain the rise of postpartum depression.
Mothers can acquire immunological cell-lines from their foetuses to improve
their own immune systems. However, as these cell lines partially serve the
interests of the father, they may sometimes turn against the mother. This is a
potential reason why spontaneous abortions may be followed by autoimmune
living organisms live in other living beings; i.e. parasites and pathogens
living in their hosts. They hide themselves within a hostile environment – the
host body – and manipulate it so as to obtain as much goods out of it as
possible. Host animals, including humans, aim to discover and to kill them.
Other times, they readily negotiate a mutually acceptable outcome.
explore their natural history, viruses, bacteria, helminths, lice etc. must be
counted, or at least we need an estimate of their quantities. I enjoy counting
pathogens, or – more precisely – to collaborate with statisticians in
finding new methods to analyse their quantities.
Animals, just like humans, often harm conspecifics without any direct benefit
for the aggressor. This is called 'Hamiltonian spite' in evolutionary biology.
Spite my take the forms of infanticide, or the purposeful transmission of
pathogens toward conspecifics. I am highly interested in spiteful behaviour.
an animal that carry pathogens have a chance to use the pathogens leaving its
body as a weapon against conspecifics. This may well be the biological
background of our motivation to carry out biological warfare. This is why I am
interested in biological weapons and their use – a dirty chapter of human
Being men and women – males and females – is a well appreciated source of
conflict. Why do most living organisms reproduce sexually? By means of sex, we
produce only half as many offspring as the offspring of asexuals. Apparently,
sexuality emerged and became the dominant way of reproduction due to the
selection pressure exerted by pathogens. The offspring produced sexually are
more resistant against infections than those produced non-sexually. However, pathogens
utilise our sexuality to enhance their own transmission. Moreover, they also
reproduce sexually so as to give birth to offspring that are more resistant
against our immune systems.
animals appear to threat others by the potential use of force, so as to force
them to cooperate. Taking the Great Spotted Cuckoo as an example, it kills the
crow nestlings unless the crows readily rise up a cuckoo chick in parallel
with the crow chicks. This interpretation of the phenomenon is called the
Mafia Hypothesis, an idea that I recently like to speculate about.