Cooperative Evolutionary Dynamics in Mechanically-Driven Microbial Colonies

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:00pm
3110 Etcheverry Hall
Dr. Carl Schreck

Postdoc, Hallatschek Lab

University of California, Berkeley


Many cellular populations, ranging from microbial biofilms to solid tumors, exist in a densely packed state where cells must physically push aside their neighbors in order to proliferate. In conjunction with microbial experiments, I develop minimal computational models of growth processes that (1) explicitly model the growth of and forces between individual cells and (2) model the population as a Stokensian fluid where mass is continually being produced. These models have enabled us to draw novel inferences about the mechanisms of evolution in spatially-constrained populations. For instance, the transmission of forces generated by cellular growth couple the evolutionary fate of nearby cells, delaying or even inhibiting the purging of small deleterious (slower growing) mutations from the population.


Carl Schreck earned his PhD from Yale University in 2012, focusing on model jammed and glassy materials. Currently, Carl is working as a postdoc with Prof Oskar Hallatschek at UC Berkeley, studying mechanical interactions and evolution in growing cellular populations.


Hosted by: Prof. Philip Marcus, 6121 Etcheverry Hall, (510) 642-5942, & Prof. Reza Alam, 6111 Etcheverry Hall, (510) 643-2591,