Rees Kassen: From so simple a beginning - Adaptation and diversification in microbial populations

  • Date: May 3, 2019
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Rees Kassen from the Department for Biology at University of Ottawa, Canada
  • For more information on the speaker please see:
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Paul Rainey


Why and how life became so diverse has been the central problem – one might more accurately say obsession – in biology. It is also the problem that motivates my research. My work combines experimental evolution with microbes, which allows us to test evolutionary theories on adaptation and diversification, with high-throughput whole-genome sequencing to uncover the genes responsible. I will discuss recent work on the emergence and fate of genetic diversity in laboratory populations of the opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, evolving under different antibiotic dosing resistance regimes and in nutrient conditions resembling the cystic fibrosis lung. I will also discuss more fundamental work on the genetics of adaptation, specifically the potential for synonymous mutations – those that do not change the amino acid – to contribute to adaptation.

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