Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


We introduce a new model for large scale evolution and extinction in which species are organized into food webs. The system evolves by two processes: origination/speciation and extinction. Ln the model, extinction of a given species can be due to an externally induced change in the environment or due to the extinction of all preys of that species (coextinction). The model is able to reproduce the empirical observations without defining a fitness function or invoking competition between species.