Research Projects

Our research incorporates laboratory experiments with microorganisms, genomic studies of natural populations, and computational approaches aimed at elucidating general principles of adaptive evolution.

Nearly all forms of multicellularity involve sacrifice: some cells give up their own survival and reproduction to promote the survival and reproduction of the organism as a whole. However, conflicts over individual versus group fitness are apparent. We examine the evolutionary history of cooperation and conflict in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

Population Genomics

Genome sequences reveal the history of selection acting on a population. Through population genomic analysis, we can learn about the traits and phenotypes that have been important in determining the long-term survival and fitness of a species.

Experimental Evolution

By taking advantage of the short-generation times of microorganisms, we can watch evolution happen before our eyes. Experimental evolution offers a way to test fundamental hypotheses about how evolution proceeds and can identify the genes and pathways that underlie adaptive phenotypes.

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