Department of Zoology
Microbes live all around us, and in us, and are central to ecosystem function. A lot of what microbes do they do in dense groups where social interaction is rife. Sometimes they help each other by secreting signals and growth-promoting enzymes. Sometimes they harm each other with powerful toxins and molecular spears. Why then do some microbes cooperate with one another while others engage in mutual destruction? We study and dissect interactions in microbial communities using a combination of ecological and evolutionary modelling and careful laboratory experiments with state-of-the-art technologies. Our goal is to reveal and understand the hidden behaviours and ecologies within the complex societies of microorganisms.
Associated Research Streams
social evolution, community ecology, microbes, game theory, collective behaviour.