1. Co-evolutionary dynamics in the light of extended evolutionary synthesis
Theories of predator-prey-host-parasite dynamics are a part of classical ecology. Together with evolution, we can address Red-Queen like scenarios with ever-evolving antagonists. The extended evolutionary synthesis includes phenomena such as innovation and learning. Personality effects of individual antagonists are often averaged over. The project aims to incorporate the properties of extended evolutionary synthesis in the traditional models of coevolution.
The theory will be developed together with an experimental collaborator working on predatory behaviour of spiders. Developed is a theory project but the ideal candidate is expected to be highly enthusiastic working at the interface of theory development and interacting with experimentalists. Knowledge about evolutionary and ecological models of co-evolution, mathematical biology and familiarity with computational techniques would be desirable.
2. Theoretical Models of Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biology has boomed in the recent few years as a powerful biotechnological tool. The applications of this technology range from medicine to environmental intervention. The use of these systems is in its nascent stage, and the engineered constructs need to be prototyped and tested before being deployed. Rigorous testing also includes mathematical robustness.
This project aims at reviewing the developments in the field of synthetic biology and developing predictive models of the engineered constructs. Working together with experimentalists developing synthetic ecological interactions (mutualists, parasites) in systems such as Yeast and E.coli, the project will involve developing models to be tested in the lab. Knowledge of microbial community assembly, familiarity with mathematical biology, simulation techniques and strong motivation for developing collaborations would be desirable.