To a large extent, everything is constrained by structures. Microbes, for example, are constrained internally by the structure of their genome or their metabolism, and externally by their ecological context. I am interested in how these structures influence what microbes do, what they are and what they can become (that is, evolve). And conversely, how these structures themselves evolve as a consequence of what microbes do.
Microbes are, in addition, a great system to work with: they are amenable to rigorous, quantitative experiments, and we can even simulate them in the computer. Yet they are complex enough to display fascinating emergent behaviors that we still poorly understand.
As a postdoc currently working in Alvaro Sanchez’s lab, I am asking questions such as: how does the structure of microbial metabolism constrain their existence in different environments and their coexistence with other organisms? And how is the evolution of their metabolism determined by their interaction with other organisms? If you want to know more about my work, check out my current research projects and some finished pieces.