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 hosts and their parasites. My current work focuses on how community dynamics can alter the adaptive landscapes that lead to evolutionary novelty.
I am a graduate student at Michigan State University in Richard Lenski's lab working on my degree in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program. That's me in the white jacket on the lower peak to the left in the photo above.
"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."
[Apr 12-16, 2015] Visiting Texas A&M and presenting a poster on microbial evolution education at the CIRTL forum.
[Mar 28-29, 2015] Do populations reach fitness peaks? Presenting at the Midwest Ecology & Evolution Conference.
[Mar 2, 2015] Lenski Lab ultra-mini- symposium: talks on experimental evolution at the Bad Bug Club series, 12:30p 1425 BPS, MSU.
[Feb 27, 2015] Presenting work on phage life history evolution at BEACON's Friday Seminar.
[Feb 25, 2015] Giving MSU's EEBB Colloquium talk!
[Feb 18, 2015] Honored with my first talk invitation by MSU's Microbiology Club! 6:30p, 1425 BPS, MSU.
[Nov 18, 2014] Virus evolution talk at MMG's GSW graduate meeting.
[Nov 05, 2014] Neat new video on our research featured @ MSU: http://msu.edu/gradfactor/alita.html#
[August 17-20 2014] Presenting a talk at the 2014 BEACON Congress.
[June 23, 2014] Presenting a talk at the Evolution 2014 meeting in Raleigh, NC. On the schedule here.
[April 25-27, 2014] Working an Experimental Evolution station at the US Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. If you're around, visit the BEACON Booth!
[April 25, 2014] Rachel Sullivan (my awesome undergraduate research assistant) won the MMG Department's Gloss Award. Congratulations, Rachel! Picture of us at the award ceremony posted here.
[April 14, 2014] Presented at the Microbiology Department's Bad Bug Club lunch seminar series: Perceptions, Explanations, and the Language of Microbial Evolution.
[October 22, 2013] My younger brother earns his G.E.D. Congrats to Mike!
[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