University of Washington,
Genetics, Genomics & Evolution
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity
Microbial experimental evolution and evolutionary modeling
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Biological systems are teeming with interactions. For instance, species interact in ecosystems, nerve cells interact in brains, and genes interact in regulatory networks. Similarly, genetic mutation does not occur in a vacuum: the selective value of any mutation for an organism may depend on its genetic background and its ecological conditions. When the fitness effect of a mutation changes with genotype (epistasis) or environment (pleiotropy), evolution becomes contingent. Our lab is focused on understanding such contingency and using this information to our benefit in health-related contexts.