Doctoral Research

with Andrew W. Murray, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

Experimentally tested the importance of trait acquisition order in the evolution of differentiated multicellularity using methods from synthetic biology. Mentored one high school student, one undergraduate student, and three graduate students (during their rotations). Supported by NSF GRFP, DoD NDSEG, and Harvard James Mills Peirce fellowships.

Side projects:

  • Identifying and quantifying distance between sister centromeres in yeast fluorescence images
  • Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation 2013 PGP challenge: re-identification of anonymous genome donors (see website for report and presentation)
  • Recovering the lab oligo and strain databases after an unplanned server shutdown
  • Created a GUI flow cytometry data analyzer in MATLAB (view on github)


  • Wahl ME, Murray AW (2016). Multicellularity makes somatic differentiation evolutionarily stable. PNAS 113 (30): 8362–8367. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1608278113
  • Lavrentovich MO, Wahl ME, Nelson DR, Murray AW (2016). Spatially constrained growth enhances conversional meltdown. Biophys J 110 (12): 2800-8. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2016.05.024

Selected research talks