Research

    Much of my research has focused on an experimentally evolved population of E. coli in which a clade of bacteria evolved the novel capacity to consume citrate aerobically. I study how the evolution of citrate consumption transformed the flask ecosystem from a simple environment with a single resource niche to one with three distinct niches and two co-existing ecotypes of bacteria. These alterations in turn led to further changes in the evolutionary trajectories of both of the co-existing ecotypes, indicating a process of ongoing feedback between ecological and evolutionary change.

     I have written a blog post at the BEACON website that gives more detail about my research with E. coli. (BEACON is an NSF center for the study of evolution in action, headquartered here at MSU.)