Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
B.A. UNAM, 2010
modules, transitions in individuality, autonomy, integration, stress responses, evolution of development
Using a simple model, my project seeks to understand central questions about the evolution of complexity. As it is widely known, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Thus, understanding the parts is insufficient to understand the whole. The study system is multicellular yeast strains obtained via experimental evolution. It is a tractable system with a known evolutionary history, providing a great model to study the integration of new parts (cells) to form a new individual (a multicellular one). My project addresses questions like: How are these parts organized and how do different parts interact to form a whole? But also, what are the evolutionary implications of such organization? Parts in recent evolutionary discussions have been named modules. Modules are at the same time coherent integrated units and autonomous to certain degree. I am interested in how these properties of modules affect the evolution of the organism as a whole. To address these questions I am evaluating the response of the multicellular organism to different stresses.