ETH Zurich- Princeton: Ecological and evolutionary dynamics in the turbulent oceans

This is a hybrid theoretical-empirical collaboration between the Environmental Microfluidics Group at ETH Zurich and the Levin Laboratory at Princeton, led by Francesco Carrara, Doug Brumeley, and me. Our goal is to understand how microbes interact and evolve in the complex structured environments created by turbulence in our planet’s oceans. One of our goals is to understand basic tradeoffs that facilitate the coexistence of motile and non-motile bacteria.

Interaction between traits and the environment determine whether motile or non-motile bacteria have higher uptake.

UF Computational Neuroengineering Laboratory (CENL): Neural mechanisms of olfactory search in turbulence

This is a collaboration with the UF CENL led by In Jun Park and Jose Principe. Our goal is to understand search in turbulence from a neurological perspective. The CENL works extensively with lobsters and has developed a deep understanding of the neural mechanisms lobsters use to encode sensory information from the environment. We wish to know how lobsters use this information to locate resources. We are combining planar laser-induced flourescence to measure fine-scale odor structure in turbulent flows with computational models of neural encoding of scent encounters. See our forthcoming paper in PLoS Computational Biology for more information.

Max Planck, IO Department of Collective Behavour: Evolution of collective search and information processing 

This is a collaboration with Iain Couzin at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.  We are using large computational models of evolution to understand how complex collective behaviors evolve. See our forthcoming paper in eLife for more information.