Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Dr. Manfred Drack

  +49 7071 29 74854
 +49 7071 29 5150
room E4P25

Postal address
University of Tübingen
Institute of Evolution and Ecology
Auf der Morgenstelle 28
72076 Tübingen

Research Interests


1986 – 1991 Mechanical Engineering, HTL Wels, Austria

1992 – 1998 Biology/Ecology, University of Vienna

Scientific degrees

2002 Dr. rer. nat., Biology/Ecology, University of Vienna

Work experience

1999 – 2005 Scientist at the Center for Appropriate Technology (GrAT), Vienna University of Technology

2005 – 2007 Research work (first as co-worker of Prof. Rupert Riedl, later as project leader) in the project “System Theory Today” (Austrian Science Fund: P18149-G04) at the University of Vienna

2009 – 2010 Postdoc at the University of Rostock, with Prof. Olaf Wolkenhauer (Chair in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics)

2011 – 2014 Research work (project leader) in the project “Systems in Biology” (Austrian Science Fund: P 22955-G17) at the University of Vienna

Current third-party funded projects

Project sponsor
Funding reference

Learning from Nature: Epistemological and Ontological Foundations of Biomimetics.
Further information: Project descriptionproject website

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 492191929

Selected Publications

van Nieuwenhoven, R.W., Drack, M., Gebeshuber, I.C. 2023: Engineered Materials: Bioinspired “Good Enough” versus Maximized Performance. Advanced Functional Materials 2023, 2307127 (1-9).

Drack, M., Betz, O. 2022. A technomorphic conceptualisation of biological ‘constructions’ and their evolution, Vertebrate Zoology, 72, 839–855,

Wanieck, K., Hamann, L., Bartz, M., Uttich, E., Hollermann, M., Drack, M., Beismann, H. 2022. Biomimetics linked to classical product development: An interdisciplinary endeavor to develop a technical standard. Biomimetics 7, 36.

Günther, A., Drack, M., Monod, L., Wirkner, C.S. 2021. A unique yet technically simple type of joint allows for the high mobility of scorpion tails. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 18: 20210388. (DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2021.0388)

Drack, M., Berger, A., Ettinger, B., Gebeshuber, I.C. 2020. 3D-printed facet optics: Novel adjustable technical optics inspired by compound eyes. Frontiers in Materials 7:199. (DOI: 10.3389/fmats.2020.00199)

Drack M, Limpinsel M, de Bruyn G, Nebelsick JH, Betz O. 2018. Towards a theoretical clarification of biomimetics using conceptual tools from engineering design. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 13: 016007. (DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/aa967c)

Drack M, Betz O. 2017. The basis of theory building in biology lies in the organism concept: a historical perspective on the shoulders of three giants. Organisms. Journal of Biological Sciences 1: 69–82. (DOI: 10.13133/2532-5876_2.11)

Drack M, 2015. Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s organismic view on the theory of evolution. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 324B: 77–90. (DOI: 10.1002/jez.b.22611)

Drack M, Pouvreau D. 2015. On the history of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s “General Systemology”, and on its relationship to cybernetics – Part III: Convergences and divergences. International Journal of General Systems 44: 523–571. (DOI: 10.1080/03081079.2014.1000642)

Drack M, Gebeshuber I C. 2013. Comment on “Innovation through imitation: biomimetic, bioinspired and biokleptic research” by A. E. Rawlings, J. P. Bramble and S. S. Staniland, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 6675. Soft Matter 9(7): 2338–2340. (DOI: 10.1039/c2sm26722e) (Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles in January 2013)

Drack M, Wolkenhauer O. 2011. System approaches of Weiss and Bertalanffy and their relevance for systems biology today. Seminars in Cancer Biology 21(3): 150–155. (DOI:10.1016/j.semcancer.2011.05.001)

Gebeshuber I C, Gruber P, Drack M. 2009. A gaze into the crystal ball – biomimetics in the year 2059. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science 223(12): 2899–2918. (DOI: 10.1243/09544062JMES1563)

Gebeshuber I C, Drack M. 2008. An attempt to reveal synergies between biology and mechanical engineering.  Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science 222(7): 1281–1287. (DOI: 10.1243/09544062JMES8909)

Drack M, Apfalter W, Pouvreau D. 2007. On the making of a system theory of life: Paul A Weiss and Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s conceptual connection. The Quarterly Review of Biology 82(4): 349–373. (DOI: 10.1086/522810)

Pouvreau D, Drack M. 2007. On the history of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s “General Systemology”, and on its relationship to cybernetics – Part I: elements on the origins and genesis of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s “General Systemology”. International Journal of General Systems 36(3): 281–337. (DOI: 10.1080/03081070601127961)