February 12, 2018 - 4:00 pm
4

Presenter:
Vaughn Cooper, Ph.D. (Amherst College ’94)
Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Director, Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
Title:
"Toward Translational Evolutionary Microbiology Using the Lens of Genomics"

I am an evolutionary geneticist and microbiologist whose lab applies genomic technology to understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics in microbial populations. We have pioneered methods for studying long-term evolution in biofilm populations and for measuring genome-wide mutation rates. Our focus is pathogen evolution that occurs during infections, but we also study eco-evolutionary dynamics in biofilms, the evolution of antimicrobial resistance, why genome regions mutate/evolve at different rates, and how the microbiome itself evolves with various conditions. As a teacher, I advocate for the study of evolution-in-action using hands-on experiments, which we’ve developed into a simple yet powerful curriculum for 9th-10th graders. This curriculum, called EvolvingSTEM, produces significant increases in learning of evolution and heredity, and also increases motivation towards pursuing STEM-related careers.

Contact Info

Karen Racz
image of e-mail address@amherst.edu