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March 8, 2023

12:00pm, PST 1100 TLSB and Zoom

Eric Caldera
UCLA, Dept of EEB

" Bacterial symbioses across terrestrial and marine habitats, with adventures in undergraduate mentorship "

Eric Caldera is an evolutionary ecologist researching the coevolutionary process within microbial symbioses using a combination of genomics, metagenetics, ecological interactions and field work. Eric will discuss the coevolutionary dynamics by which bacterial symbionts of fungus-farming ants maintain antibiotic potency against specialized pathogens, specifically addressing how patterns of local adaptation within the Panama Canal-zone comport with diversity in the core genome and transient biosynthetic gene clusters. In addition, Eric will examine how the fungus-farming ant symbiosis parallels a defensive symbiosis between cyanobacteria and marine isopods. Finally, Eric is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and marine science, and will highlight his mentorship of underrepresented, first generation and community college students through research. 

Host: Karen Sears