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The Chavhan Lab for Understanding Evolution is a new research group within the School of Biology at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Thiruvananthapuram.

In the proximate future, we plan to address both how- and why- questions on four broad themes:

1. The origin and evolution of multicellularity
2. The origin of cell differentiation in nascently multicellular lineages
3. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity at multiple levels of biological organization
4. The fundamental problem of complex adaptation: how do asexual populations cross fitness valleys?

We will use experimental evolution, genomics, and transcriptomics to achieve our goals. We will primarily work with bacterial, protozoan, and bacteriophage populations, but we also plan to conduct individual-based simulations to better understand the underlying phenomena.

Our future research will be shaped by the interests of the students and associates who will join us; it can also develop in a significantly different direction in addition to the above four themes. If you want to use experiments to study microbial evolution in action, we would be very happy to discuss your ideas and would encourage you to turn them into an interesting project in our lab. If you want to join the lab or have any questions about our work, please write an email to Yashraj (the Principal Investigator) at yashraj@iisertvm.ac.in.

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