Michael Conrad (biologist)

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Michael Conrad
Born 1941
Died 2000
Nationality American
Scientific career
  • Theoretical biology
  • Computer science
Institutions Wayne State University

Michael Earl Conrad (1941–2000) was an American theoretical biologist.[1] He was a professor of computer science at Wayne State University.[2] His book Adaptability (1983) has been very influential in theoretical biology.[3]

Conrad was the first to publish theory on the evolution of evolvability, beginning in 1972[4], with the idea that mutations which smoothed the adaptive landscape would increase the chance that other adaptive mutations could be continually produced, and would thereby hitchhike along with those mutations, thus "bootstrapping the adaptive landscape"[5] to produce the "self-facilitation of evolution".[6]


  1. ^ Obituary in IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 5(1), 2001.
  2. ^ Obituary
  3. ^ Robert Rosen 1986. [Review.] Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 48(5/6): 701–703.
  4. ^ Conrad, Michael (1972). C.H. Waddington (ed.). "The importance of molecular hierarchy in information processing". Towards a Theoretical Biology. Edinburgh University Press Edinburgh. 4: 222.
  5. ^ Conrad, Michael (1979). "Bootstrapping on the adaptive landscape". BioSystems. 11: 167--182.
  6. ^ Conrad, Michael and Volkenstein, MV (1981). "Replaceability of amino acids and the self-facilitation of evolution". Journal of Theoretical Biology. Elsevier. 92 (3): 293--299.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

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