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Eric Libby

Assistant professor at Umeå University interested in the evolution of biological complexity

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Curriculum Vitae

Eric Libby Associate professor, Umeå University
Umeå, Sweden
Email: elibbyscience at Google Scholar


2017–now: Associate professor, Umeå University
2013–2017: Omidyar Fellow, Santa Fe Institute
2009–2013: Post-Doctoral Fellow, New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study
Advisor: Paul Rainey
2008–2008: AAAS Mass Media Fellow, Voice of America, Washington DC
2002–2007: Ph.D. Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, Dept. Physiology
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Thesis- [Investigations into the design and dissection of genetic networks]
Advisor: Leon Glass
1998–2002: Bachelor of Arts in Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University


  • E Libby, WC Ratcliff. Short-sighted evolution constrains the efficacy of long-term bet-hedging. American Naturalist (accepted)

  • P Lind, E Libby, J Herzog, PB Rainey. Predicting mutational routes to new adaptive phenotypes. eLife (accepted)

  • S Estrela, E Libby, J Van Cleve, F Débarre, M Deforet, WR Harcombe, J Peña, SP Brown, ME Hochberg. Environmentally Mediated Social Dilemmas. Trends Ecol Evol. 2018 Nov 8. pii: S0169-5347(18)30249-0.

  • E Libby, WW Driscoll, WC Ratcliff. Programmed cell death can increase the efficacy of microbial bet-hedging. Scientific reports 8(1): 1120. link

  • WC Ratcliff, M Herron, PL Conlin, E Libby. Nascent life cycles and the emergence of higher-level individuality. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 372(1735): 20160420. link

  • Y Kallus, JH Miller, E Libby. Paradoxes in leaky microbial trade. Nature Communications 8(1): 1361.

  • L Hébert-Dufresne, A Allard, PA Noël, JG Young, E Libby. Strategic tradeoffs in competitor dynamics on adaptive networks. Scientific reports . 7 (1), 7576.

  • L Tavera-Mendoza,T Westerling, E Libby, A Marusyk,L Cato L., Cassani R., Cameron L., Ficarro S., Marto J., Klawitter J., Brown M. (2017) Vitamin D receptor regulates autophagy in the normal mammary gland and in luminal breast cancer cells. PNAS 114(11):E2186-E2194. link

  • Kempes, C.K., van Bodegom P.M., Wolpert D., Libby E., Amend J., Hoehler T. (2017) Drivers of microbial maintenance and minimal energy requirements. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 31. link

  • Lachmann M., Libby E. (2016) Epigenetic inheritance systems contribute to the evolution of a germline. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150445. link

  • Libby E., Conlin P., Kerr B., Ratcliff W.C. (2016) Stabilizing Multicellularity Through Ratcheting. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150444. link

  • Wolinsky E., Libby E. (2015) Evolution of regulated phenotypic expression during a transition to multicellularity. Evolutionary Ecology : 10.1007/s10682-015-9814-3. link

  • Wolpert D., Libby E., Grochow J., DeDeo S. (2015) “Optimal high-level descriptions of dynamical systems” in From Matter to Life: Information and Causality . Cambridge University Press.

  • Wolpert D.H., Grochow J.A., Libby E., DeDeo S. (2015) A framework for optimal high-level descriptions in science and engineering—preliminary report. (

  • Gallie J., Libby E., Jendresen CB., Bertels F., Ferguson G.C., Beaumont H.J.E., Kilstrup M., Rainey P.B. (2015) Bistability in a Metabolic Network Underpins the De Novo Evolution of Colony Switching in Pseudomonas fluorescens. PLoS Biol 13(3): e1002109.

  • Libby E., Ratcliff W.C. (2014) Ratcheting the evolution of multicellularity. Science, 346(6208):426-7.

  • Ratcliff W.C., Hawthorne P., Libby E. (2014) Courting disaster: how diversification rate affects fitness under risk. Evolution, 69(1):126-35.

  • Libby E., Kerr B., Ratcliff W.C., Travisano M. (2014) Geometry shapes evolution of early multicellularity. PLoS Comp Biol,10(9):e1003803.

  • Libby E. (2014) “Self-Organization and Emergence” chapter in Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, Technology. editors: James Trefil, Patricia Daniels, Donna McPhie, Craig Schiffries.

  • Machovsky-Capuska G.E., Hauber M., Libby E., Amiot C., Raubenheimer D. (2014) The contribution of private and public information in foraging by Australasian gannets. Animal Cognition, 17(4), 849-858.

  • Libby E., Rainey P.B. (2013) Eco-evolutionary feedback and the tuning of proto-developmental life cycles. PLoS One, 8(12): e82274.

  • Libby E., Rainey P. B. (2013). A conceptual framework for the evolutionary origins of multicellularity. Physical Biology, 10: 035001.

  • Libby E. (2013) “A Microcosm of Evolution” chapter in Notas de Modelacion y Metodos Numericos. Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Populations. editors: Miguel Angel Moreles Vazquez Salvador Botello Rionda.

  • Machovsky-Capuska G.E., Hauber M.E., Dassis M., Libby E., Wikelski M.C., Schuckard R., Melville D.S., Cook W., Houston M., Raubenheimer D. (2013) Foraging behaviour and habitat use of chick-rearing Australasian Gannets in New Zealand. Journal of Ornithology. doi:10.1007/s10336-013-1018-4.

2012 and earlier
  • Libby E., Rainey P. B. (2011). Exclusion rules, bottlenecks and the evolution of stochastic phenotype switching. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0146.

  • Rainey P. B., Beaumont H. J. E., Ferguson G. C., Gallie J., Kost C., Libby E., Zhang X.-X. (2011). The evolutionary emergence of stochastic phenotype switching in bacteria. Microbial Cell Factories, 10 Suppl 1, S14.

  • Ritchie S. R., Fraser J. D., Libby E., Morris A. J., Rainey P. B., Thomas M. G. (2011). Demographic variation in community-based MRSA skin and soft tissue infection in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 124(1332), 21-30.

  • Libby E., Glass L. (2010). The calculus of committee composition. PLoS One, 5(9), e12642.

  • Cardin S., Pelletier P., Libby E., Le Bouter S., Xiao L., Kaab S., Demolombe S., Glass L., Nattel S. (2008). Marked differences between atrial and ventricular gene-expression remodeling in dogs with experimental heart failure. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, 45(6), 821-831.

  • Burstein B., Libby E., Calderone A., Nattel S. (2008). Differential behaviors of atrial versus ventricular fibroblasts: a potential role for platelet-derived growth factor in atrial-ventricular remodeling differences. Circulation, 117(13), 1630-1641.

  • Libby E., Perkins T. J., Swain P. S. (2007). Noisy information processing through transcriptional regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(17), 7151-7156.

  • Cardin S., Libby E., Pelletier P., Le Bouter S., Shiroshita-Takeshita A., Le Meur N., Leger J., Demolombe S., Ponton A., Glass L., Nattel S. (2007). Contrasting gene expression profiles in two canine models of atrial fibrillation. Circulation Research, 100(3), 425-433.

  • Wang T.-T., Tavera-Mendoza L. E., Laperriere D., Libby E., MacLeod N. B., Nagai Y., Bourdeau V., Konstorum A., Lallemant B., Zhang R., Mader S., White J.H. (2005). Large-scale in silico and microarray-based identification of direct 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 target genes. Molecular Endocrinology, 19(11), 2685-2695.