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My research is focused on ecology and evolutionary biology, with emphasis on the dynamics of adaptation in microbial populations. I am interested in understanding how organisms adapt to their environment, limitations on this process (i.e., why organisms are not perfectly adapted), the genetic basis of adaptation, and the role of genetic architecture in promoting or constraining evolution. Recently my research has focused on cooperation and conflict – how do microbes build societies to mutual benefit of their members, while safeguarding themselves against cheats?
I approach these questions by integrating laboratory evolution experiments with behavioural and genomic studies of natural populations. Experimental approaches give me insight into how evolution might solve selective dilemmas and the genetic basis of traits of interest, whereas studies of natural populations allow me to understand how evolution has proceeded and to identify traits that are selectively important to an organism.
My research is focused on ecology and evolutionary biology, with emphasis on the dynamics of adaptation in microbial populations. Recently my research has focused on cooperation and conflict – how do microbes build societies to mutual benefit of their members, while safeguarding themselves against cheats?
Microbial evolution, molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics, cooperation and conflict
Field of research codes
Biological Sciences (060000): Evolutionary Biology (060300): Genetics (060400): Genomics (060408): Microbiology (060500): Molecular Evolution (060409): Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics (060411)
Microbial evolution, molecular evolution, genomics, cooperation and conflict
Project Title: Can Arms Races Occur Within a Species
Date Range: 2020 - 2023
Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand
Biology of Cells (162.101)
Evolutionary Biology (196.217)
Main Supervisor of: