Ricard Solé

Ricard Solé

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Life & Medical Sciences

I am ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where I'm the head of the Complex Systems Lab. I am also External Professor of the Santa Fe Institute (New Mexico, USA) fellow member of the European Center for Living Technology (Venice, IT) and external faculty of the Center for Evolution and Cancer at UCSF. I am also member of the editorial board of several international journals. I obtained my degrees in Physics and Biology at the University of Barcelona and received my PhD in Physics at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. I have been awarded with James McDonnell Foundation, Botín Foundation and ERC Advanced Grants.

Research interests

One of my main research interests is understanding the origins of complexity in living and artificial systems, and how major transitions can be explained by means of statistical physics approaches. To this goal, my Lab develops both theoretical and experimental research, including complex networks, evolutionary unstable dynamics (RNA viruses and cancer) an ambitious program on synthetic biology. The later area includes an exploration of synthetic multicellular systems, biocomputation and synthetic swarm intelligence. Additionally, I have also created two research areas of my own, namely Liquid brains (developing a theory of cognitive networks beyond standard solid brains) and the concept of biosphere terraformation (developing synthetic biology motifs to engineer ecosystems facing future tipping points).

Selected publications

- Maull VSolé R 2022, 'Network-level containment of single-species bioengineering', Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences, 377, 1857, 20210396.

- Vidiella B & Sole R 2022, 'Ecological firewalls for synthetic biology', Iscience, 25, 7, 104658.

- Solé R 2022. Revisiting Leigh Van Valen’s “A New Evolutionary Law”(1973)', Biological Theory, 17, 120-125.

- Berdugo M, Vidiella B, Solé RV & Maestre FT 2022  'Ecological mechanisms underlying aridity thresholds in global drylands', Functional Ecology36(1), pp.4-23. 

- Aguadé-Gorgorió G, Kauffman S & Solé R 2022, 'Transition Therapy: Tackling the Ecology of Tumor Phenotypic Plasticity', Bulletin Of Mathematical Biology, 84, 1, 24.

- Bonforti A Solé R 2022, 'Unicellular-multicellular evolutionary branching driven by resource limitations', Journal Of The Royal Society Interface, 19, 191, 20220018.

- Sole R & Levin S 2022, 'Ecological complexity and the biosphere: the next 30 years', Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences, 377, 1857, 20210376.

- Solé R & Seoane LF 2022, 'Evolution of Brains and Computers: The Roads Not Taken', Entropy, 24, 5, 665.

Selected research activities

Curator of the CCCB-Wellcome Trust exhibition BRAIN(S), first held at the CCCB (July-December 2022)