The Coevolutionary Origins of Complexity

Using Avida, an artificial life platform, we're studying how host-parasite coevolution drives the evolution of complexity, diversity, and evolvability.

Unraveling Coevolutionary Feedbacks

Is it possible to manipulate coevolving communities to directly test how feedback influences adaptation? Focusing on E. coli and bacteriophage for this project, we're building custom continuous culture devices that enable experiments that were previously intractable.

Reversing Rate Adaptation

We've recently started using emulsion populations in the lab, where cells are distributed into millions of isolated media droplets surrounded by an immiscible oil phase. For our first project with these emulsions, we're testing how selection reverses thousands of generations of adaptation to an environment favoring faster and faster growth -- Richard Lenski's LTEE.

Modern Fabrication for the Lab

With relatively inexpensive consumer grade equipment, it's now possible to rapidly customize tools for particular experiments. For example, we are 3D printing unique culture devices, milling custom microscope slides, and building electronics with full-fledged microprocessors for less than you would expect to spend on morning coffee.