Illustration by Ravi Teja Bandaru - LSA Magazine. Reprinted with permission.
LSA Assistant Professor Luis Zaman asks hard questions about evolution—questions that experiments with live microbes alone can’t answer. The secret, he says, is all about embracing the element of surprise.
by Anna Megdell
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Complex Systems Professor Luis Zaman researches evolution—both biological and digital.
The experiments that Zaman conducts in the wet lab are relatively simple, he says. “We take some microbes, we grow them, then we challenge them in particular environments,” he says.
Zaman and his lab techs will put microbes and viruses together in some specific set of conditions, let them grow for tens of thousands of generations, and measure what happens. “It’s kind of a forward-looking way of studying evolution as opposed to trying to do it historically,” Zaman explains.
This most recent highlight of Luis's work comes on the heels of the announcement that Luis has been chosen by the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs as one of the 16 members of the COVID-19 Faculty Council. The members of the council willl meet twice a month with President Mark Schlissel and Provost Susan M. Collins to bring forward ideas, discuss concerns and offer suggestions about the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Congratulations to Luis on this honor!