Experimental Evolution of
I am a postdoctoral researcher with Mike Travisano at the University of Minnesota. I use
experimental evolution to explore how multicellular organisms can evolve from single-
celled ancestors. The transition to multicellularity was critical for the evolution of large,
complex organisms, but the first steps in this process are poorly understood. In a recent
paper, we show that multicellularity can evolve surprisingly quickly under the right
Along with my PhD advisor R. Ford Denison, I have written papers on bacterial bet-
hedging, microbial communication, the evolution of bacterial cheating strategies, and
how to measure the fitness of symbiotic rhizobia.
See our whole group at MicroPop.org
Evolution of multicellularity, bet hedging and
We evolve simple multicellular organisms
from single-celled ancestors in the lab.
These ‘snowflake yeast’ are characterized
by determinate-growth, a juvenile stage, and
simple among-cell division of labor.