I did my BSc at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I also did my MSc and PhD. After a post-doc at the MIT (Cambridge, MA, USA) from 1987 to 1989 I was hired at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) where I am now a full professor at the Physics Department. In the past years I have been working on different aspects of population dynamics. Most of these works were developed using individual based simulations, focusing on processes of speciation and their relation with physical space. In particular, we try to understand the role of partial geographical barriers and natural selection in speciation. Recently, we have applied these models to the study of ring species (see Research), where we were able to directly compare the results of the simulations with empirical data. The results obtained with these models motivated the development of a series of theoretical studies, where we write equations that capture the features explored by the numerical models. The goal is to get a deeper understanding of the dynamics and to clarify the role of the many model parameters, such as the mutation rate, the size of the population, the number of genes, etc.
Parallel to my work in evolutionary biology I also have interest in chaotic and complex dynamical systems, including topics in statistical mechanics, networks and semiclassical limit. Most of these projects have been developed with the help of graduate students and collaborators, particularly Yaneer Bar-Yam and, until very recently, with Michel Baranger.