There and Back Again: Five Years Among Novel Multicellular Organisms, Warrior Bacteria, and Biophysicists

A Biological Sciences Seminar by Will Ratcliff, Ph.D.

Will Ratcliff, Ph.D.
School of Biological Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology
This is my tenure talk. I'll thus tell you all about the work we've done over the last five years at Tech, focusing on the great collaborations I've developed since coming here. This talk will mainly span two domains: multicellularity and microbial social evolution. On the topic of multicellularity, I'll show results from the first couple years of our long-term evolution experiment (which I hope to run for 30+ years), in which we evolve snowflake yeast that are ~1,000 times larger than their ancestors and a million times more physically robust. We've used this system to glean new insights in to how development can arise de novo, how cells evolve from autonomous individuals into mutually-dependent parts of a new multicellular organism, and how early multicellular life cycles can catalyze the evolution of increased complexity. On the microbial social evolution side, I'll tell you about our work examining the surprisingly complex social lives of bacteria- cooperation, conflict, and even risk aversion (bet hedging). 

Event Details


  • Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 10:55am

Room 1005, Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB), 950 Atlantic Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332

For More Information Contact

Jasmine Martin