Eric Libby and I describe a new hypothesis
for how nascent multicellular lineages
can become canalized in a multicellular
Ratcheting the evolution of
Welcome to the Ratcliff lab at Georgia Tech
Our group uses experimental evolution to examine the evolution of biological complexity,
with a focus on multicellularity. Using baker’s yeast yeast and the algae Chlamydomonas,
we are examining how unicellular organisms can evolve to form multicellular clusters, and
how these clusters evolve to become more sophisticated. Read more at our Research
Through this research, we also work on:
The evolution of cooperation.
Bet hedging / evolution in fluctuating environments.
The evolution of aging.
Life cycle evolution.
The evolution of multicellular development.
Experimental evolution in high schools
The evolution of biological complexity remains one of the most challenging topics in biology
to teach effectively, and is one of the most contentious scientific topics among the general
public. Many people will never take a biology class past high school, and historically, few
high school courses have covered the major evolutionary transitions in detail. To address
this gap, we have developed a pair of labs based on our research evolving multicellularity.
Read more (and order your free kit!) at www.snowflakeyeastlab.com.
We are looking to hire a NASA-supported postdoc to work on the origin and evolutionary
consequences of multicellular life cycles. If you’re interested, please contact Dr. Ratcliff for
Evolution of multicellularity, bet hedging and