How does coevolution yield diversity?
Originally motivated by patterns of relatedness among virus-infected and resistant strains of cheese-producing bacteria, I moved from the dairies of Wisconsin back to academia to ask basic questions about what produces and maintains diversity in the natural world.
Using experimental evolution of the bacterium E. coli and the virus bacteriophage Lambda, I study interactions between prey and their predators. My current work focuses on the community dynamics and how biotic interactions can alter the adaptive landscapes that lead to evolutionary novelty. That's me in the white jacket, not-quite-stranded on the lower peak to the left in the photo above.
I am a graduate student at Michigan State University in Rich Lenski's lab working on my degree in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program.
"IT IS INTERESTING TO CONTEMPLATE AN ENTANGLED BANK, CLOTHED WITH MANY PLANTS OF MANY KINDS, WITH BIRDS SINGING ON THE BUSHES, WITH VARIOUS INSECTS FLITTING ABOUT, AND WITH WORMS CRAWLING THROUGH THE DAMP EARTH, AND TO REFLECT THAT THESE ELABORATELY CONSTRUCTED FORMS, SO DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER, AND DEPENDENT ON EACH OTHER IN SO COMPLEX A MANNER, HAVE ALL BEEN PRODUCED BY LAWS ACTING AROUND US."
[October 22, 2013] My younger brother earns his G.E.D. Congrats to Buddy!
[October 7, 2013] Successfully passed my Ph.D. preliminary exam!
[August 12-15, 2013] Evolution in Action BEACON Congress at Michigan State! MSU undergraduate Rachel Sullivan presented a poster and lightning talk on our virus life history trait evolution project. I presented a short research talk and education project poster.
[July 20-26, 2013] Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on Microbial Population Biology. I'll be presenting a poster on host-parasite coevolution.
[June 21-25, 2013] Evolution Conference at Snowbird, Utah. I'll be presenting a poster and a short talk, and checking out the Rocky Mountain landscape!
[May 7-8, 2013] MSU is hosting a STEM Mini-Conference. I'll be co-presenting a poster, "Microbial Evolution in Action: From Classroom to Career."
[December 2012] Researchers at Work BEACON Blog Post: "A Tyrannosaurus and a Virus Walk into a Bar..."
[September 2012] Evolution 101 BEACON Blog Post: Host-Parasite Interactions, Of Mice and Cheese and Men and Zombies