What are we interested in?
Bacteria communicate, cooperate and compete, resulting in a wide range of behaviors such as biofilm formation, chemical warfare (bacteriocins) and quorum sensing. Microbiologists have made huge strides forward, using molecular and genomic approaches, in determining ‘how’ certain behaviors function. Despite this, answers are still lacking to adaptive questions, such as ‘why’ do such behaviors evolve? How are they maintained in natural populations? What role do they play during infection?
We are interested in understanding microbial interactions and social behaviors, and the implications for virulence and disease. The main organism that we focus on is the antibiotic resistant superbug Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The CDC has identified P. aeruginosa as a 'serious threat' in healthcare settings [Link]. It is also the key pathogen in cystic fibrosis lungs and is commonly isolated from chronic wounds.
Main Findings (our work and collaboration with others)
Social evolution in microbes and quorum sensing
Infection and biofilms