Evolution is evolution…

July 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Jean-Baptiste (JB) Michel will be defending his thesis, “Quantitative aspects of evolution”, today (Wednesday, July 28th) at 3pm in Alpert 563, HMS.

JB has been measuring and analyzing evolution in a couple of different contexts that might appear to be unrelated at first glance — words in a language (in the Nowak lab), and drug-resistant bacteria in a bacterial population (in the Kishony lab).  Come and hear what these different situations have in common.

JB’s papers so far:

Lieberman E, Michel JB, Jackson, J., Tang, T., Nowak, M. A., 2007. Quantifying the Evolutionary Dynamics of Language. Nature 449 713-716. PMCID: PMC2460562

Michel JB, Yeh PJ, Chait R, Moellering RC, Kishony R, 2008. Drug Interactions Modulate the Potential for Evolution of Resistance.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105 14918-23  PMCID: PMC2567468

Assuming all goes well today, JB will be the fourth student to graduate from the Harvard Graduate Program in Systems Biology.  (Congratulations in advance, JB!)  Since the other three graduated before this blog existed, here are their names and thesis titles:

David Rand (Nowak lab): “A systems approach to the evolution of cooperation”;
Martin Wuehr (Mitchison lab): “Spatial Organization of Large Cells”
Hsiao-Chun “Lino” Huang (Mitchison lab): “Life versus death decisions during mitosis”

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle

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