Disruption of symbiosis in tropical corals and other organisms. Weird jokes as a way of life.
I work as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Nick Kamenos and Fredrik Ohlsson, and in close collaboration with Eric Libby, to investigate the dynamics and consequences of symbiotic breakdown in natural ecosystems, with a particular focus on tropical coral reefs. My research project is hosted by the IceLab at Umeå University, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences, and the Umeå Marine Sciences Centre.
Symbioses are crucial for the survival of ecosystems, but when they break down, the consequences can be severe. Our research focuses on using coral bleaching as a model system to develop and apply novel mathematical modelling methods to investigate the evolutionary implications of symbiotic breakdowns in endosymbiotic systems. In the coral model system, our aim is to explore the range of biological mechanisms and evolutionary scenarios that could give rise to the observed bleaching phenomena and probe the scope for coral survival to the end of the century. Overall, this project may have broad applicability across other systems where host-symbiont interactions are dynamic, including lichens, fig-wasps, and human gut microbiomes.
My previous work, conducted under the supervision of Ricard Solé at the Complex Systems Lab of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) in Barcelona’s Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), focused on the emergence of multicellularity and the possible drivers that led to this major evolutionary event. Using theoretical and computational models, we investigated the potential features that predate simple multicellularity, exploring the generative potential of minimal models of embodied multicellularity that incorporate adhesion, phenotypic switching, and environmental stress as three key factors driving collective aggregation in cellular assemblies.
When I’m not biking, playing the piano, or doing outdoor sports, you can find me reading, studying, or writing in a quiet library or a noisy café somewhere around our wonderful world :)
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