The Avida-ED Project

Avida-ED logo

Technology for Teaching Evolution and
the Nature of Science using Digital Organisms

Robert T. Pennock



Avida-ED is my digital evolution educational software platform, designed for use in undergraduate biology courses. Originally developed from 2004 - 2009 under an NSF CCLI grant (with my co-PIs Charles Ofria, Richard Lenski, and Diane Ebert-May), Avida-ED was officially introduced and publically released at the Society for the Study of Evolution meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 19, 2007, and is used in universities around the country. Avida-ED is currently getting a thorough code update, funded under our NSF BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, which will make it ready for further functional development. Plans are underway to add new features most requested by users. We are also developing model curriculum and instructor support materials and testing these in a variety of classroom settings.


Avida-ED was discussed in the 10 Feb. 2006 issue of Science.

For more information and to download Avida-ED please go to the general public site.
Avida-ED Home Page



Fig. 1: A view in the virtual Petri dish. The population viewer allows the user to monitor the population's fitness, genotype distribution, metabolic rate, and other characteristics.

Fig. 2: The Organism Viewer shows an animation of the execution of a digital organism's genome.

Fig. 3: The Analysis Viewer graphs data from evolved populations.


Created 5/27/04. Last updated 2/28/12.
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