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Brian McLoone

Postdoctoral Fellow with Research Focusing on Evolutionary Biology

Brian McLoone PortraitI am interested in conceptual and theoretical topics in evolutionary biology.  Typically these topics lie at the interface of philosophy, biology, probability, modeling, computation, evolutionary game theory, and recent work on causation.


Ph.D. in Philosophy, 2016 

University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.A. in Philosophy, 2009 

Tufts University



I am a post-doctoral fellow in Laurence Loewe’s lab, under the aegis of the NIH-funded “Genomic Sciences Training Program,” an interdisciplinary training program run through UW-Madison. I am engaged in a couple of inter-related projects: integrating work on mereotopology into the framework of the model description language Evolvix; extending Evolvix to be able to run evolutionary game theoretic simulations; developing a multi-level model of the evolution of cooperation in n-player snowdrift games; and, in collaboration with Caitlin Pepperell’s lab, constructing models of biofilm formation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.



(In preparation) “Causal Models in Evolutionary Biology: What are the Rules? What are the Consequences?”


McLoone, B. (2015) “Some Criticism of the Contextual Approach, and a Few Proposals,” in Biological Theory 10(2): 116-124.


McLoone, B. and Smead, R. (2014) “The Ontogeny and Evolution of Human Collaboration,” in Biology and Philosophy, 29: 559-576.


McLoone, B. (2013), “Selection Explanations of Token Traits,” in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part C: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44: 342-346.

Barrett, M., Clatterbuck, H., Goldsby, M., Helgeson, C., McLoone, B., Pearce, T., Sober, E., Stern, R., and Weinberger, N. (2012) “Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon’s Zero Force Evolutionary Law,” in Biology and Philosophy, 27(5): 723-735.


(book review) McLoone, B. (2012) “Collaboration and Human Social Evolution: Review of Michael Tomasello’s ‘Why We Cooperate’ (2012),” in Biology and Philosophy, 27: 137-147.



For more information, you can visit my personal website here.