Call For Papers: The Revolutionary Impact of Landscapes in Biology

Darwin in his epochal Origin of the Species famously referred to life as a "tangled bank“ of great complexity, unified by the process of natural selection. Physicists too have always sought simplifying ideas of great power capable of making complex phenomena comprehensible and quantitative. A unifying idea in physics that ties together many complex phenomena in biology is the concept of a landscape, broadly defined. This idea not only encompasses the idea of the free energy landscape of a folding protein, but extends out to concepts in neurobiology, immunology, evolution, ecology and the emergence of (and resistance to) disease. We have not found in the literature a coherent collection of articles which use the central idea of landscapes defined in this most broad sense.  We propose a collection of articles bringing together work at the cutting edge of biological physics that illustrates how the concept of dynamics on landscapes provides a unifying framework for some of the most urgent problems in current interdisciplinary science.

Submissions will be peer-reviewed and, if accepted, the articles will be published in the journal and collected in a virtual volume on the journal webpage.

Important Dates 

Submissions will be accepted until October 2021

Submission Procedure

Prospective authors should prepare their paper according to the standard Submission Guidelines  for the Journal of Biological Physics. Click on “Submit Manuscript” on the journal webpage or follow the link:

During the submission process, answer “Yes” to the special issue question “Does this manuscript belong to a Special Issue or Topical Collection ” and select “The Revolutionary Impact of Landscapes in Biology” from the drop down menu.

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Guest Editors

Robert Austin
Dept. of Physics, Princeton University

Shyamsunder Erramilli
Dept. of Physics, Boston University

Sonya Bahar
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri at St. Louis