I am a postdoc in the Desai Lab at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. I am trying to uncover regularities in how microorganisms adapt to their environment and understand how these regularities emerge from the biology of the cell.
I use experiments in budding yeast, theory, and data from natural populations to address the following questions:
I am currently working on two main projects.
We started 640 populations of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae from 64 founder strains and evolved them in 96-well plates (see picture of one of them) for 50 days. We measured the fitnesses of the evolved strains, sequenced some of them, and did some genetics. We are now writing a paper. Stay tuned. This is work with Dan Rice, Elizabeth Jerison, and Michael Desai.
This is a figure from the classic paper by Daniel Dykhuizen, Tony Dean and Dan Hartl called "Metabolic flux and fitness" (link). In this paper, which I highly recommend, the authors laid the foundation for understanding microbial fitness from biochemical principles. Building on their ideas, I am developing a theory for describing the effects of mutations and their interactions (epistasis) in terms of our current understanding of metabolism.