Author: Anya Vostinar

7 Things I Learned From “Evolutionary limits to cooperation in microbial communities”

By Anya Vostinar on January 27, 2015 in Review / 0 Comments

Back in December PNAS published a paper from Oliveira et al. called “Evolutionary limits to cooperation in microbial communities” [1]. My research interests lie right at the intersection of evolution and cooperation so I was fascinated by the idea that evolution imposes limits on cooperation. In this paper, Oliveira et al. examine the evolutionary dynamics of a community of microbes that can exchange a number of valuable secretions between different strains. This experimental setup enables the evolution of cooperation if one genotype focuses on producing one secretion and shares that secretion with a different strain while also gaining access to that other strain’s secretions. Ultimately, however, they found that cooperation only evolved under specific and limited conditions because of the fitness decrease that occurs when an individual isn’t close enough to receive secretions from another strain. Because I enjoy reading papers […]

7 Grad School Survival Tips

As many of us are starting the winter semester, it seemed an opportune time to discuss surviving not just the winter weather (here’s hoping Michigan’s winter isn’t as bad as last year!), but the rather mentally and emotionally trying process that is graduate school. I’m currently in my third year at MSU and am just finishing up classes, so these tips are only guaranteed to be even partially relevant for your first few years, but hopefully they continue to help me and you in our final years as well!

Current Research at the Devolab

By Anya Vostinar on November 25, 2014 in News / 0 Comments

While we’re widely interested in the field of digital evolution/artificial life at the Devolab, we have various more specific projects currently being investigated. We’re planning on trying to keep the Projects page up-to-date whenever a new major project is undertaken or an old one wrapped up (hopefully with a publication to share!), I decided to draw your attention to our current work now that everything is up-to-date:

Recent Publications From the Devolab

By Anya Vostinar on November 18, 2014 in News, Research / 0 Comments

Hello, world, we’re back! The Devolab (i.e. Dr. Charles Ofria’s research lab) has been up to lots of research, but not much blogging – until now. We’ve got lots of plans for discussing interesting papers, ongoing research, behind-the-scenes looks at grad student life, and much more. For now, plan on seeing new posts on Tuesdays. To start things off, we thought you’d like to know what we’ve been up to in the past year or so, therefore here is a list of the recent publications from the lab. Going forward, we’ll aim to have posts with high-level discussions of our new papers, and slowly fill in with posts about some of the more exciting previous papers. Without further ado, we present research: