Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 6978
Work E-mail: rkassen@uOttawa.ca
Dr. Kassen’s research aims to answer the most fundamental and persistent puzzle of nature: the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. Or, put another way, we are trying to answer the age-old question, “Why are there so many species in the world?” To do this requires that we study the evolutionary process as it unfolds, keeping track of the variety of genotypes and phenotypes in a population or community through time, a task that would be very challenging with any large, long-lived organism. For this reason, we use microbial populations of bacteria and protists to study the evolutionary process in the laboratory. Topics of investigation include, but are not limited to, (1) the genetics of adaptation and niche specialization, (2) adaptive radiation, (3) social interactions, (4) invasive species, (5) evolutionary medicine.