Secrets of Swimming Starfish: NSF-Simons Center welcomes William Gilpin

September 15, 2019

What do Neanderthal migration, cryptography, and the swimming strokes of baby starfish have in common? Answer: They are all fair game, as far as William Gilpin is concerned.

Gilpin is interested in dynamics and chaos in living systems. He previously earned degrees in Physics from Princeton and Stanford and is now a full-time member of Harvard’s NSF-Simons Center.

“Harvard has a wonderful community of diverse, creative thinkers,” says Gilpin. “It has been really exciting to hang out with and learn from scientists who study everything from squid eyes to mushroom spores.”

“We’re thrilled to have William join our community,” says BN Queenan, Executive Director of Research at Harvard’s NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology. “He’s fearless in his pursuit of interesting biological questions. We know he will uncover something very exciting if we let him follow his instincts.”

Now with support from the National Science Foundation and the Simons Foundation, Gilpin can do just that. As an independently funded postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s NSF-Simons Center, Gilpin is able to work with any faculty member affiliated with the Center. This gives him access to faculty from across all of science, engineering, and math at Harvard.

“Young, collaborative scientists are the best glue for new communities,” says Center Director Andrew Murray, Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology. “Our independent postdocs weave together diverse research interests into a coherent intellectual fabric.”

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