In collaboration Hans Metz, we are developing adaptive dynamics theories to capture the diversification of cultures into stress-resistance and dispersal phenotypes in the context of cell-cell interactions such as quorum-related regulation and habitat sensing networks.
On the ecological side as time goes on and cell densities increase locally, habitat modification and cell-to-cell coupling lead to niche construction and differentiation of dispersal as well as stress resistance strategies. In well-mix systems, where dispersal is factor out, GASP mutants are know to take-over stationary phase cultures. In spatially distributed systems there is a choice: to develop adaptations to local stresses or to develop dispersal adaptations to commute between patches of local opportunity following dynamic habitat landscapes.
This program is the counterpart of our experimental efforts on evolution.