Mentor: Gavin Sherlock, PhD
Parasites and their hosts shape one another’s evolution. In addition, the environment in which host-parasite conflicts take place can impact who wins and how. Michelle Hays is interested in how hosts evolve to fight back against parasites and the trade-offs associated with self-defense. Through experimental evolution of “killer yeast,” Hays is exploring how yeast’s natural parasites shape its evolution and give rise to biological novelty, while limiting host paths to adaptation.